This book receives an A+ from me.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is a companion novel to The Kiss Quotient which follows supporting character Khai Diep. Khai’s mother wants to marry off her son, so she flies to Ho Chi Mihn City to find his bride. There she discovers Esme Tran, a bubbly maid, who agrees to fly to America and seduce Khai in order to secure a better life for her daughter.
For me, The Kiss Quotient was only an average read. For me, the characters lacked the depth that I needed to truly believe in their relationship. As a result, I was not sure if I would really enjoy the second book in this companion series. However, I ended up enjoying The Bride Test much more than The Kiss Quotient because it contained all of the aspects that I wanted to see in The Kiss Quotient.
For me, the stand-out aspect of this book were the two main characters, Esme and Khai. Unlike with The Kiss Quotient, I found that Esme and Khai were completely fleshed out. All of their actions drove the story and made so much sense because of how much you know about their characters. I feel like the author’s research played a large role in this aspect of this story. In the author’s note, Hoang mentions that her mother and father’s relationship greatly influenced this story because their lives reflect many aspects of the two main characters. As a result, I feel like readers can connect more with the characters in this book than the Kiss Quotient.
There is only one complaint that I had while reading this story. There were some aspects of this book, such as Esme’s child, which were hinted at the beginning of the story to be major roadblocks. However, I felt like any instance that was foreshadowed never played a large role in the story. While this usually would annoy me in a story, I actually found the problems that the characters face throughout the novel more true to their characters, so it never really took anything away from the story for me.
Overall, I really loved The Bride Test and could see it appearing on a favorites list at the end of the year. This book makes me excited to read the next book in this companion series, The Heart Principle, which releases next year. I give The Bride Test five out of five stars.