Imatge de l'autor

Helen Hoang

Autor/a de The Kiss Quotient

10 obres 5,551 Membres 299 Ressenyes 2 preferits


Obres de Helen Hoang


Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
Llocs de residència
San Diego, California, USA
Kim Lionetti (BookEnds Literary Agency)



DNF ~50%. Objectively pretty good, but not my jam.
caedocyon | Hi ha 39 ressenyes més | Feb 23, 2024 |
I’m definitely in the minority opinion on this one. 😶

I decided to pick this book up as part of my attempt to read more of the genres I rarely reach for. The romance genre and I have never been close pals, but it's mostly because I just prefer my stories to have copious amounts of magic/fantasy worlds/sword fight and unfortunately those things don't appear often in romance books. But I found a couple new adult romances this year that I enjoyed, and everyone was raving about "The Kiss Quotient" so I decided to pick it up.

Let's start with the good:
Stella Lane, the main character, was the best part. She is a econometrician working with numbers and digital algorithms and a bunch of other math stuff I'm too dumb to understand. Stella is incredibly smart and driven and loves what she does; she is also on the Autism spectrum and has Asperger's, and struggles to understand social norms and connect with people sexually. So, she makes a plan of action and hires a male escort who can practice with her. Being inside Stella's head was the most interesting part of the book, and I think it was very well done. As someone who is invested in the presence and representation of Autistic characters, I was excited to read Stella's portions.

Now, this is where things began to go downhill for me. (The rest of this is just a looooong rant, so skip to the last paragraph if you want the Sparknotes version of my thoughts)

Enter Michael Phan, the attractive, martial-arts loving escort Stella selects. Everyone compares him to a K-drama star and every few pages another group of women swoon at his feet as he walks by. It's pushed into the readers face just HOW UNBELIEVABLY HOT Michael every chance possible. Unfortunately, as hot as he is, Michael is also an ass. Yeah, that's right, I'M SAYING IT. I feel like every review of this book I see people are drooling over how amazing Michael is On page 64, shortly after meeting Stella for the first time, Michael watches her bend over to write something and demonstrates, in Michael's opinion, "the only reason why a woman should wear a pencil skirt: to show off the perfectly rounded curves of her fine ass."
Yup, that's is, that's the ONLY REASON a women should wear a skirt she feels comfortable in is so the male gaze can take in her ass.
Then Michael and Stella get down to business and begin practicing and we come to what I have dubbed "The Nipple Pages". The first description we get of Stella's nipples are from Michael, and he says they are "the kind of nipples men and babies dream about."
Um, yeah, nothing says "steamy sex scene" like mentioning nipples that BABIES DREAM ABOUT. I can literally think of 4 dozen different ways to have phrased that that DO NOT include dragging a baby into your fantasy.
But Michael's not done yet, he still has more to say about these nips. He makes the astute observation that Stella should be careful with where she puts her nipples because, and I quote, "she'd poke an eye out with those things." ??? Is this....supposed to be funny? Like is this straight sex humor or something?
He then goes on to utter what might be the funniest phrase I've ever read in a romance book: "Only in his line of work was blindness by nipple assault a true hazard."
SJSSKSKSKKSKS NIPPLE ASSAULT Y'ALL I AM SCREECHING. Really, NIPPLE ASSAULT was the best phrase you could come up with?! Literally all I can picture is those women from the Austin Powers movies who have machine guns in their bras.

It was stuff like that mixed in throughout the sex scenes that made them completely bizarre to read. Michael tastes ice cream by eating it out of Stella's mouth (page 79), taking her panties and keeping them to smell later (page 198), and Michael and his friend Quan look down on women who don't have the same sexual viewpoints as them; on page 107 we get a blast of "Is she a virgin? Shit, is she saving it for marriage? Run like my mom is after you." Yeah, that's cool, because a woman who chooses for herself to wait is obviously ~cRaZy~ and needs to be avoided. Nice. Cool. Love that.

Michael also has this overbearing "alpha male" attitude that I can't stand. I feel like the best example of this is pages 144-145 when Michael comes to find Stella at work and forces her to go to dinner. When she says she hasn't eaten much, Michael quips, "I'm going to feed you" and proceeds to drive Stella to his moms. When she explicitly says to him, "I'd really like to go home" and is visibly uncomfortable with doing this, he ignores her wishes and makes her go eat.
Later, Michael repeatadly calls Stella and sends her flowers and gifts after she point blank asks him to stop. Page 304: "Each day that week, he's called and asked her out to dinner. Each day, she refused. She didn't need or want his help." THEN the ass decides (after Stella has asked him to stop contacting her) to SHOW UP outside her job. She tells him, "You need to stop all of this", to which hot Michael answers, "It's not just a little romantic? I don't have a lot of experience with courting, so you'll have to excuse me if I come across too strong."
WTF, Michael, that't not "coming across too strong" that's stalking a woman after she's told you to stop.

Michael also goes on and on and ON about "the badness inside himself". From the first chapter from Michael's POV, he keeps dropping hints about all the bad stuff his dad did and how "the same badness is now in him". Almost as much as readers are told how super hot Michael is, we're also repeatedly told how bad he is. Michael constantly is afraid of "being bad" to other people because of his dad.
But here's the thing: Michael's dad wormed his way into relationships with women, got a bunch of their money, and then ran. He did it to Michael's mom and apparently he's still off doing the same to other women. There's no hint at ALL that Michael is anything like this, but he's so caught up with the fact that he's going to be like his dad. Michael makes it seem like he's got this awful disease that makes him "bad" but literally it's just about not making bad moral choices?? These portions of the book were so overly angsty to read, and just overall poorly written.
On page 210 Michael contemplates this: "He knew people. It would be so easy to take advantage of them. There was very little preventing him from doing exactly that, nothing but a shaky code of ethics and the desire not to follow in his dad's footsteps."
Michael. A code of ethics is literally all that is keeping ANY OF US from doing bad stuff. You're not special for not wanting to to bad things?? Get off your soapbox.

Maybe some people are into boys like Michael. I don't get it. AT ALL. But everyone has a preference so I guess my preference is just way different than the majority of people who read this,
The only reason this book isn't getting a 1-star rating from me is because the Stella portions were well done and I truly liked her as a character. It was just Michael that ruined the book for me personally, and I can't help but wish Stella had ended up with someone different (and better). I think there are better romance writers out there and have no plans to read anything else by this author.
… (més)
deborahee | Hi ha 163 ressenyes més | Feb 23, 2024 |
i started this expecting a light, fluffy read like the first instalment of the series. but the story turned out to be a pretty poignant portrayal of an asian american woman's plight to develop self-advocacy while navigating rigid family dynamics, filial piety, generational trauma and love in a neurotypical world.

also i did not think the author would be able to top Michael from book #1 but Quan is GOOD good iykwim
ratatatatatat | Hi ha 39 ressenyes més | Feb 21, 2024 |
The Kiss Quotient was one of my two picks from Book of the Month Club in June. My reading stalled in May and June when life was getting in my way, work especially, so I got behind. When I started reading it yesterday, I had wondered what in the description of the book had led me to choose this one out of the five June selections. Romance and pretty detailed sex scenes might not have enticed me. There are really two protagonists in this novel, Stella Lane and Michael Larsen. What makes Stella unique is her high-spectrum autism, and most of the story is told from the omniscient point of view, limited to Stella’s inner dialog, but also, occasionally, Michael’s inner dialog. The autistic perspective was fresh and it elevated what might have been a pedestrian romance story. It’s a good beach read — not that I’m on a beach. ;-)… (més)
bschweiger | Hi ha 163 ressenyes més | Feb 4, 2024 |



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