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Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Title: The Bride Test
Author: Helen Hoang
Year Published: 2019

Genre: Adult fiction (romance)
Pages: 296
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)Vietnam and USA (CA)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but he doesn't experience big, important emotions like love and grief. Rather than believing he processes emotions differently due to being autistic, he concludes that he's defective and decides to avoid romantic relationships. So his mother, driven to desperation, takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect mail-order bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity to marry an American arises, she leaps at it, thinking that it could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn't go as planned. Esme's lessons in love seem to be working...but only on herself. She's hopelessly smitten with a man who believes he can never return her affection.

Esme must convince Khai that there is more than one way to love. And Khai must figure out the inner workings of his heart before Esme goes home and is an ocean away.

Review: Oh my goodness, this was the perfect book for me to read today. I read it in one day and loved it.

On the surface this is a romance about a woman from Vietnam being set up with a Vietnamese-American in the Bay area of California. Tensions and miscommunication ensue, will they get together or won't they?

But, in reality this novel is so much more. It's a study in what it means to be human. How do two people who are seemingly so different figure out how to get along, to court, to understand one another? What does it mean to love, to feel, to incorporate your life into that of another?

I liked both Esme and Khai; they were believable, likable, and I felt for both of them throughout the book. I loved that the surrounding characters were supportive and helped these two along in their journey together.

I found myself laughing out loud and crying at the sweetness of it. Get a copy and read it!

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