The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – Did It Survive The Hype? (Review)

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Bride Test will not let you down. It has everything you could want in a romance, and more.

“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.” 

// Content Warning: Grief, Mental Illness, Autism, Mature Content //

”Warm. Content. Safe in his arms. Him safe in hers. She hugged him tighter. He was bigger and stronger, but she would protect him with everything she had.”

– Premise –

The Bride Test is a companion novel to Helen Hoangs debut, The Kiss Quotient. You definitely don’t need to read The Kiss Quotient before reading this, but I still highly recommend it because The Kiss Quotient is one of my favorite books of all time. If you did read it, then you may remember Khai. Khai is convinced that he can’t love, but his mother has decided that he needs to get married, so she goes to Vietnam to find him his bride. When Esme is offered a trip to America to marry Khai, she agrees to try to win Khai over and get a better life for her and her daughter. 

– Writing & Setting-

Helen Hoang is slowly (well, actually, not so slowly) becoming my favorite romance author. Her books are so fun, down to earth, and just amazing. Her writing style is simple and straightforward, with lighthearted humor and so much heart. The settings of her books don’t really get much attention, but they don’t need to, because it’s the characters that shine. 

He always expected her to turn him away, but she never did. It was a heady thing, her acceptance.

– Plot –

I couldn’t put this book down. I meant to just start reading it, because I was in a slump and thought maybe it might get me motivated to read again, but I didn’t expect it to fully take over my evening. I couldn’t stop reading! I finished in one sitting and just wanted more. The plot is fast-paced, with drama unraveling at every corner, and the relationships developing at the perfect rate. There is not one boring moment in this book.

– Characters – 

Helen Hoang writes neurodivergent characters so well. It just fills me with so much joy, seeing autism and mental illness represented so well. These characters are realistic and honest, but mental illness is never demonized or even dramatized. It’s such an accurate portrayal of living with a psychiatric disorder. But enough about that, because that is just a small aspect of this book and these characters. Khai and Esme are both beautifully developed and fleshed out characters. I especially love how Esme struggles when she comes to America were never glossed over. 

“My heart works in a different way, but it’s yours.”

– Conclusion –

Pros- Fantastic representation, amazing characters, adorable relationship
Cons- I just need more from Helen Hoang. I need more books! They’re all too good!! 
Overall- 5/5 stars. 
The Bride Test is an absolutely perfect romance, with strong characters who have amazing chemistry, and great representation too!

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I had such high expectations for this book, and I’m so glad it lived up to them! Have you read The Bride Test? What’d you think? What’s one book that surprisingly lived up to all of your hopes for it?

Currently Reading: We Hunt The Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizel

I am officially in the longest reading slump ever. It’s been months. I’m dying.

Because of this awful reading slump, I wasn’t able to finish reading my ARC of We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizel by it’s release day. That said, I still want to talk about it, so now I will.

I’m about 100 pages in, and I want to go over some of my initial thoughts, first impressions, and predictions.

(Don’t worry, I’ll keep it spoiler free!)

Okay, onto the… well I can’t say review… impression? thoughts? Let’s just get started.

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Defy the Fates by Claudia Gray – Review & Life Update

Hello! I know, its been awhile. I’m so sorry for disappearing out of nowhere. The semester is coming to an end, and school and work just got the best of me. That said– I’m back and here to stay! My posts during this next week or so may be a little sporadic as I try to survive finals, but after that, I’ll be back to my 2+ posts per week!! I’ll still be doing my monthly wrap up/tbr, as well as my May Releases, they’ll just be a little late this month.

I’ve missed ranting about books and talking to you guys! I’m so excited to be back!!! Okay, enough about me, let’s get to the review…

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Quick Stats:
Overall:
 4/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 3/5
Review in a Nutshell: Defy the Fates is an action-packed ending with all of the humor, romance, and philosophizing that the first two books made me fall in love with.

“The opposite of Faith isn’t doubt. The opposite of Faith is certainty.”

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The Tiger At Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – ARC Review

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

(All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change)
Quick Stats:
Overall:
 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 3.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Tiger At Midnight is a captivating novel, focusing mostly on the physical and mental journey of two fascinating characters.

“Never greet a tiger at midnight, for they are the manifestations of your past misdeeds.”

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Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett – ARC Review

First, I just want to thank Ashley at StudyingIsMyRaisondetre on tumblr for sending me the ARC!!! I’m eternally grateful!!!

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Quick Stats:
Overall:
 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Serious Moonlight is an adorable, realistic, and fun book that is perfect with a slice of pie.

“Judging people unfairly doesn’t define them; it defines you. And in the end everyone will be disappointed.”

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Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi – Review

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Quick Stats:
Overall:
 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Defy Me is a fascinating new installment in theShatter Me universe that has me so excited for the next book!

“Happiness does not happen. Happiness must be uncovered, separated from the skin of pain. It must be claimed. Kept close. Protected.”

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You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn – ARC Review

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Quick Stats:
Release Date: 04/02/2019
Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5

Review in a Nutshell: You’d Be Mine is a gripping, realistic, and thoroughly entertaining read that will make you fall in love with country music. 

“That’s the glorious thing about music. It speaks to the very heart of things in the most absolute and obtrusive way.” 

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My Favorite Reads of March 2019 + April TBR

I thought by reading slump was getting better, but boy was I wrong. I barely pulled through in March. I read 10 books, but most of them were novellas. However, there were still some amazing reads in there! Here’s a quick list of a few of my favorites:

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Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan – ARC Review

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Quick Stats:
Release Date: 04/02/2019
Overall:
 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5

Review in a Nutshell: This book is my new obsession. Wicked Saints is dark, gritty, sometimes horrific, and thoroughly compelling. 

“You have plunged yourself into the dark where the monsters dwell, now you must fight them off before you’re consumed.”

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Sherwood by Meagan Spooner – ARC Review

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Overall: 4/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 4/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Sherwood is a fantastic Robin Hood retelling as long as you’re willing to push past the slow parts.

“It’s easy to be a hero when you never look beyond your next battle. Only fools believe they know all there is to know.”

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