I have never read a book before around a particular disability. I’ve read one about cancer patients, which was The Fault in our Stars by John Green back when I was a teen, however that was fairly much it. I never actually read a fiction book about a certain disability. And simply reading the first book for Helen Hoang has gotten me interested in checking out her other work, which stunningly was also about disabilities. In this case both books were about Autism. One of the aspects that had attracted me to this series of novels is the fact that it pursues the different plots of a group of cousins, where each book is centred around one of them. The other one is how it highlights that anybody, especially someone with a disability, has an opportunity of experiencing love.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This story is about a woman called Stella, who’s quite successful and very committed to her occupation, though, even at the age of 30, she lacks experience in dating and relationships in general. Stella has Asperger’s, which is a form of autism that can affect the way a person communicates, in this matter, it has quite influenced her inexperiences. And with the constant pressure from her mother to meet new people, go on dates and settle, she decides that it’s time to hire a professional to instruct her about relationships and everything that goes with it, which ended up with her hiring an escort named Michael.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the wonderful character that is Michael, simply one of the best! Now back to the synopsis.
Stella and Michael come to an agreement to follow a checklist in their sessions. Along the way, the study sessions were beginning to develop into something more genuine rather than pretend and practice. And Stella grew fond of having Michael around, and started craving all the emotions that he made her feel. Therefore, the novel follows the journey of both leads while they learn how to open up to one another and face their own fears.
I admit that I did not do much research on this book’s story before I bought it, it was more of a blind purchase as I liked the title and the cover, therefore the steam in this book caught me by surprise. I don’t mind steam in books so it was not a great deal for me, but if you do not like that then this would not be the book for you.
All the things that make you different make you perfect.The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
It was such a cute and sweet story. You instantly fall in love with the lead characters. Very eye opening on some of the struggles that an autistic person experiences in life and how trust, comfort and love can make a change.
Would totally recommend anyone who favours Romance novels to read this one!
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
This one is about an Autistic guy named Khai, who has lost his best friend at a young age due to an accident, and when he found himself unable to show any emotional reaction to losing someone very dear to him, he realised that he is different from others. That has hardened his heart over the years and made him determined to persistently keep people at a distance and to not get involved with anyone romantically, as he believes that he is incapable of demonstrating genuine emotions and that he ought to hurt the other person by not returning their affections. His mother takes matters into her own hands, worrying that her son will never settle down, so she travels to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride. That’s where she meets Esme, and offers her the opportunity of moving to California over the summer to seduce her son and make him fall in love with her. If Esme was to succeed, she would then marry Khai, and if she was to fail, then she would return back to Vietnam.
Now Esme has had a rough start in life, facing bullying for being a mixed race kid in her village, getting pregnant during high school and then having to quit school in order to raise her child and take care of her mother and grandmother. When Khai’s mother offered an opportunity for a better future for her family and especially for a father figure to her little girl, she had no choice but to accept it and flew to meet Khai.
Esme does her best to attract Khai, but what she didn’t put into account is for her to fall deeply in love with him in the end. Khai has made it exceptionally difficult for her to win him over, however with time, he started becoming accustomed to having Esme around, still, he would never admit to developing any emotional connection towards her. And with Esme’s time in California coming close to an end, the book follows the path of Khai opening up and letting her in. But will he realise his love for her before it’s over?
How did you change your life when you were trapped like this? Her history didn’t define her. Her origins didn’t define her. At least, they shouldn’t. She could be more, if she had a chance.The Bride Test, Helen Hoang
I honestly enjoyed this one. At first I was not as indulged in it as I was with The Kiss Quotient, but that had quickly shifted further into the story. I’ve read it in one sitting, such a sweet novel!
It was remarkably pleasant to see Esme’s character growing throughout the book, believing more in herself that she is capable of achieving her goals on her own, despite when things don’t go as she expected them to.
Again, for my Adult Romance lovers out there, this would be a good one to read!
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
It tells the story of Kelsea, a young princess, who has been in hiding all her existence, and was raised by two very loyal people to the throne due to some dangerous circumstances forcing her to live in exhile. On her 19th birthday, the queen’s guard shows up to accompany her back to the keep so she can reclaim her dead mother’s throne. Kelsea has been prepared her entire life for this responsibility by her foster parents. And despite doing everything they can to prepare her academically and mentally, they didn’t always provide her with all the information she needed.
Even though she may be inexperienced, she is protected by the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power she wears around her neck. She feels quite insecure to lead her people and her kingdom which she knows roughly nothing about. Kelsea is constantly in danger, with enemies surrounding her, from assassins to the darkest blood magic, to prevent her from wearing the crown. Despite all that, she still wanted to change the way the system works for the good of the people. Which has angered the Red Queen, who’s a ruler of a neighbouring kingdom and a sorceress of the dark magic.
The story follows Kelsea’s journey in defeating the Red Queen who’s determined to destroy her, discovering who she can trust to help her claim her rightful place at the throne and her survival.
I’ve been gifted this book a while ago and have not found its appeal for me to dive into it since. I decided to give it a go this year, but was very demotivated by the excessive amount of details around the surroundings in the first chapter. I normally enjoy the details in books as they support me in visualising the scenes, but this one was a bit too much for my preferences.
I normally can’t enforce myself to read a book and have to be highly interested in the storyline to go through it, therefore I had to DNF this one.
If you are a fan of The Queen of the Tearling and you believe that I should seriously give it another go, describe to me below why I should do so and let’s see if I can be sold! Of course, make sure it’s spoiler free!
I’m aware that Helen Hoang is releasing a third book in the Kiss Quotient series later this year and I already know that it’s undoubtedly being added to my TBR!! In the first book, Quan’s character is introduced as Michael’s cousin, and you get to see how much of a good friend he is, and in the second one he’s Khai’s brother and you get to appreciate how supportive, kind and patient he is. And the fact that the third book is about his story, you can already understand my excitement!
Will you be including The Heart Principle to your reading list?