Published by Penguin on June 5, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Multicultural & Interracial
"This is such a fun read and it's also quite original and sexy and sensitive."--Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author
"Hoang's writing bursts from the page."--Buzzfeed
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 crave all of the other things he's making her feel. 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...
I really enjoyed this debut novel by Helen Hoang. Stella was a delightful heroine who has just as much of a solid understanding of her strengths as she does of her shortcomings. She is an accomplished professional who has mastered balancing her needs with the expectations of society as a whole. Her confidence and willingness to communicate in a direct fashion to those around her, even when it related to her insecurities had me cheering for her from the first page.
Michael was a sweetheart of a man who seemed perfect for Stella from their very first meeting. His patience and communication made him the perfect fit to guide Stella through her practice sessions. While I didn’t ever find myself really buying into Michael’s dread of being compared to his father since we only ever experienced the concern through his memories, it didn’t detract from the overall story. I really enjoyed seeing Michael with his family as I felt it set the stage for what a caring individual he was.
You know who I wanted to throat punch throughout the book? Well yes Phillip her creepy co-worker, but not just him. I absolutely wanted to throttle Stella’s mom. Seriously, her approach to her daughter’s love life drove me crazy. I don’t care whether or not Stella is autistic, pressuring your daughter to date because you want grandchildren is obnoxious. I struggled to reconcile a woman who raised such a wonderful woman with the same woman who would also treat their daughter that way.
I am not in a position to weigh in on whether or not this book represented autism well due to my limited experience, but I will say one thing nagged at me. Having Stella end up with a man whose cousin happened to be autistic as well seemed to smooth some situations over that would have required more work between the characters had that not been the case. I felt like we missed seeing some elements of all of the characters involved by not having this negotiation take place on page. Certainly Stella and Michael were both strong enough characters to pull this off based on the other serious topics that tackled.
All in all, The Kiss Quotient was a very enjoyable read that I am glad I had the opportunity to review.