Shealea's Reviews > The Bride Test

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
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This is my second book from Helen Hoang, and I think it's safe to say that I won't be picking up her books anymore. Truthfully, I was somewhat iffy with several things about The Kiss Quotient, which was Helen Hoang’s debut novel in 2018. After my reading experience with The Bride Test, I am fully convinced that I’m just not the right audience for her books.

Much like in The Kiss Quotient, the premise of her sophomore novel involves very glaring power imbalances between the main character and the love interest that were difficult for me to ignore. Except, this time the imbalance is amplified: Esme Tran is dirt poor, uneducated (which is arguably romanticized in this book, yikes), and later on, displaced to an entirely foreign country where she knows nothing about its language and its customs. On the other hand, Khai Diep is a highly intelligent business CEO who constantly views Esme as some kind of sex object (again, this is arguable). But even Khai is powerless as his desires and decisions are constantly undermined by his mother, and later on, by Esme.

Essentially, the premise of this novel is built on very, very shaky territory. From Khai's mother literally buying a vulnerable woman from a poorer country as a bride for her son despite his repeated disinterest in relationships... to Esme using sex to force Khai to admit that he loves her, too many things in The Bride Test are questionable at best and outright horrifying at worst.

And are we really going to frame all the deception and manipulation that happened in this story as “romantic?” I’m so sorry, but that’s really gross, in my opinion, and I cannot get on board with the love train that most readers have willingly hopped on.

I would rather shoot myself in the eye than recommend this book to anyone.

1 star
* Read more of my bookish shenanigans in my natural habitat.
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Reading Progress

May 18, 2019 – Started Reading
May 21, 2019 – Shelved
May 21, 2019 – Shelved as: arc-review
May 21, 2019 – Shelved as: asian-representation
May 21, 2019 – Shelved as: authors-of-color
May 21, 2019 – Shelved as: diverse-books
May 21, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley
May 21, 2019 – Shelved as: myriads-of-regret
May 21, 2019 – Shelved as: review-copy
May 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

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