I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
My feelings on The Bride Test are complicated as you may already know from my post about anticipation.
I was super excited to get this book, but once I began reading it, I realized that my expectations for this book were totally skewed. Instead of wanting to read Khai and Esme’s story, I wanted a repeat of Stella and Michael’s story from The Kiss Quotient. Once I realized that was what was holding me back from fully enjoying the book, I gave up my expectations, and just went along for the wild ride that was this book.
If you don’t know, this book follows Khai, who is set up by his mother with a woman named Esme (originally My back in Vietnam) with the intention of them marrying by the end of the summer. Of course things don’t go exactly as planned since Khai believes that being autistic means he’s incapable of love.
The first point that I want to make about this book, is that it is hilarious. Like, laugh out loud funny. I genuinely had such a fun time reading it! There were lines, scenes, scenarios, and set-ups that had me giggling and sometimes even cackling with laughter. The humor was definitely my favorite part of this book.
But fear not, humor was not the only wonderful aspect of this book! I really enjoyed the plot of this book. Again, I expected the arranged marriage idea to go a particular way, maybe because I had seen it done that way before, but it did not happen how I expected it to. Khai was fully aware of his mother’s plan to marry him off to Esme (My in Vietnam, in case that causes confusion for you when you start reading, like it confused me.) And their relationship didn’t have as many of the usual pitfalls that I’ve come to expect. It had its own unique challenges. Again, my expectations led me astray, but also allowed me to enjoy this book because I was surprised by so many things that happened, and always for the better.
As for characters, well, not to worry, I enjoyed both main characters, although I do have a soft spot for Khai. He has convinced himself that he’s unable to love, but he’s so sweet and caring and loving, that it’s obvious to everyone but him that he’s wrong. My heart ached for him throughout this book, but I was so so happy to see that throughout it all he had a supportive family. His mother is a but pushy, but she was also very sweet and caring, and was only pushing Esme on him with his best interests in mind. She was a bit meddling, but not overbearing, and I really appreciated that. Quan was also a wonderful brother, and I really enjoyed all his contributions to Khai and Esme’s relationship!
The only reason that this book doesn’t have the full 5 star rating is because of little details that bothered me. A plot point here. An interaction there. There is nothing that would keep me from recommending this book, but my gut keeps telling me that this is a 4.5 star book.
I can’t wait to pick up my physical copy on May 7th, and I’d highly encourage you to pick up a copy as well!
Have you read this book? Do you want to? Have you read The Kiss Quotient? Are there any similar romances that you’d recommend?