The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: Delightful. One of the best reads of 2018.

Synopsis

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

 

Review

Delightful!

This is the most appropriate word to describe this 5 stars read.

I had my attention drawn to this book by Astrid  @thebookishsweettooth. She was so enthusiastic my interest was picked and I ordered the book on an impulse.

This story simply is a little gem. Essentially character driven, the writing is light, charming, funny and just right.

Stella is a touching female character. Stella is Asperger and it means that as much as she is brilliant with numbers and econometrics she really is socially awkward. She wants to do good but she does not get the clues most people get so effortlessly and react poorly in many situations. She has to constantly plan and monitor what she’ll say not to hurt other people.

“She’d spent devising conversation trees in her head so she could minimize the need for social improvising. (…) For severla twisting moments, she ran through her list of presocialization reminders: thinsk before you talk (anything and everything can be an insult to someone; when in doubt, say nothing), be nice, sitting on your hands prevents fidgeting and feels good, make eye contact, smile (not teeth, that’s scary), don’t start thinking about work, don’t let yourself talk about work (no one wants to hear about it), please and thank you, apologize with feelings.”

What is fun for us like going out and dance in a club, shopping to buy clothes is a real hardship for her.

She is oversensitive to noises, smells, lights and touch. I already knew this about autistic people but not the small details like seams scratching your skin.
Mrs Hoang made it real for me. So much that I was Stella. Sweet, wanting to do good but not believing in herself Stella. Added bonus for some of my friends; she is a K-Drama fan!

Stella is a very determined young woman. She WANTS to overcome her fears.
When her mother asks for grand-children Stella is determined to satisfy her wish. She “just” has to get better at sex to be able to entice a potential mate.
What better way to improve than to have lessons by a professional escort right?

What would seem totally crazy for most of us is in fact logical for practical Stella.

She hires Michael who is incredibly handsome and that I recommend for my friends Dani and Poulami as he looks like Daniel Henney famous KDrama actor.
Michael is not only handsome but gifted in bed and above all he is kind patient and considerate. He will soon be really dedicated to help Stella unaware of her autism.

What is deeply touching and that I could related was Stella’s wish to be known for herself. Not seen as someone with Asperger but as Stella. Unique charming smart and awkward Stella.

That’s when the book gets deep as we broach the topic of how “different” people are just..people and wants to be seen as people. Not “people with” autisme for example. Considering them people with Asperger sounds like they should get rid of it while it is WHO they are. They don’t have to change. They are unique and perfect.

This is truly a Pretty Woman in reverse here as Michael is broke and has to sell his body, unbeknown to his family to support all the bills.
Michael may be a “prostitute” he really is the perfect boyfriend I wish my daughter one day!

I also loved all the small touches about vietnamese culture. The food, feeding the dead, the big extended family, the…

Everything worked for me.

 

Special mention to the dialogs!

Stella being unable to lie and quite “direct” it gave some little gems, especially as Michael had no idea she was Asperger!

Here is one excerpt to give you an idea:

“You smell really, really good. What is it?”

Where was that scent coming from? It seemed to be everywhere on him, but too light. She craved a more concentrated dose.

“Michael?”

A funny look crossed his face. “It’s just me, Stella.”

“You smell this good?”

“Apparently. You’re the first to comment on it.”

“I want it all over me.” As the words left her mouth, she worried she’d said the wrong thing. That statement had sounded a little too personal, a little strange. Would he notice how strange she really was?

That’s it! I loved it and encourage everyone to read this story that will make it to my “bests of 2018”!

Have you read it? Loved it? Do you like stories with “different” main characters?

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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23 Replies to “The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: Delightful. One of the best reads of 2018.”

  1. Awesome review Sophie, I’ve heard so much good stuff about it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Trisy!

  2. Lovely review! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it Sophie! Can’t wait to read it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh yes please do!

  3. Wonderful review! I’m so glad you loved this book! I’m planning to pick it up next month! I hope I enjoy it as much as you did! 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Raven! But as we have such similar tastes in books I am confident 😉

  4. Such a great review, I can’t wait to read this Pretty Woman in reverse. I won a giveaway from Jessica’s Reading Room and I could spend 20 dollars on BD. I chose this as one of two reads !! If I wasn’t sure then I am now.. I can’t wait to read this!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Inge I can’t wait to read your review now!

  5. This book is one of my top 2018 reads and my favorite romance so far. I fell in love with both Michael and Stella, and cannot wait to read Hoang’s next book.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Sam! I wonder what she’ll write about 😉

  6. AHHH what a fantastic review. I have heard amazing things about this book from fellow bloggers and, let’s be honest, a contemporary like that just screams “read me” for me I am very curious to read it now, your review made me even more impatient to do so and I loved the excerpts, especially the first one 🙂
    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I hope you will love it Marie and thank you so much!

  7. This sounds like a winner, great recommendation!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Jacquie!

  8. Not read it but it sounds like a great read

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh yes it is! And so refreshing 😉

  9. Great review Sophie! I loved this one too! Michael’s family is hysterical!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Totally Susan!

  10. I want to read it ASAP ❣ great review

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Priyasha!!!

  11. Such a beautiful review, I really should grab this book up.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I think you would love it 😉

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