The Kiss Quotientby Helen Hoang Published 05 Jun 2018
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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...
"The Kiss Quotient" Reviews
things about this that were very good:
- the autism rep
- the fact that while the author was researching said autism rep, she got diagnosed with autism
- this is #ownvoices for autism and asian rep! yay! cool inclusion of vietnamese culture!
- the female character is the moneymaker/works in STEM and the male character has less money/is a creative! employment gender role reversal.
things about this that were not very good, for me, personally, sorry:
- a woman getting f*cked out of some of her autism symptoms
- a man not taking no for an answer (one time a man does this and it's Bad. but when the hot love interest does it, it is Very Very Good, apparently.)
- i did not like the smut and i am sorry but i did not
- the word "quirky" turns me off a character faster than you can say not like other girls
- the protector-man gender roles were so bad
- also so much "chicks love that romantic stuff" and "men never talk about feelings" type gender roles
- REALLY WEIRD PARENT CHARACTERS WITH INCONSISTENT CHARACTERIZATION
- felt pretty insta-lovey to me. like one second both are like "we cannot be in love!!!! never will we allow ourselves!!!" and the next. boom. lovefest city, population these two nerds.
anyway. this book didn't work for me but clearly i'm in the teeniest minority in world history so.
bottom line: read this if it sounds good to you i guess? basically the bottom line of all my reviews is "please do not feel compelled to listen to my opinion and/or take it seriously."
this is...a lot.
To sum up my reading experience of The Kiss Quotient, I would have to say it’s like, not love.
I really wanted to love The Kiss Quotient. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. I think the hype ruined it for me, as I had mighty high expectations going into this.
25-year-old econometrician Stella has autism; she’s high functioning but has trouble with social skills and intimacy, amongst other issues. Her mother wants grandbabies and pressures her to date. But Stella does not enjoy dating, nor does she like sex. When someone suggests to Stella that she practice honing her sexual skills, she takes their advice and hires male escort Michael, to teach her what she does not know. Michael happens to have a conscious and quickly realizes that Stella is different than the other woman that hire him. Genuinely wanting to help Stella, he goes against his rule of spending only one night with a client and allows Stella to book him for multiple sessions. The two fall in love, but must fight through their insecurities to stay together.
“She had a disorder, but it didn’t define her. She was Stella. She was a unique person.”
Stella’s character is what makes The Kiss Quotient stand out from other romances. It’s clear Hoang did her research and seamlessly incorporates Stella’s insecurities stemming from her autism. Autistic women don’t usually show up in romances, and Hoang takes a risk with Stella’s character. I also really liked Michael’s character; Hoang truly creates Stella’s perfect match with Michael.
This is fast-paced, addictive, easy read. The premise is a little out there, but it makes sense especially after reading Hoang’s Author’s note. I just wish it hadn’t been so predictable. I saw how everything could play out very early on the book but I was hoping that Stella and Michael’s romance would take a different path; one that is as unique as their characters. Outside of Stella having autism, I feel like I have read books like this before. I was hoping for something a little more outside of the box, but it was overly predictable. Overall, I found this to be a fun, fluffy, and unfortunately, formulaic read.
well, if this wasnt just the most wholesome story i have read in a while. my goodness. this was so pure.
i think romance books have improved so much lately. its been quite wonderful to see romance stories with so much depth to them, beyond just two people in love/lust. not that the swoon-worthy parts arent great, but now i can actually say i read the books for the plot, and mean it. :P
what i really enjoyed about this book, specifically, was getting the opportunity to read from the perspective of character who has autism. having such a unique character made it very interesting to read about how differently emotions can be processed and interrupted. this story made me think about what romance means to not only me, but other people. i will admit, at times the plot was a little unrealistic. but i thought the characters were the most real thing about this story. they felt very authentic and genuine and helped the story feel more natural.
after reading this, i can completely understand the massive attention this book has gotten over the past few months. its the perfect story for those looking for a lovely feel-good book to end their summer!
↠ 4 stars
This book was so easy to love; I can see why it's getting all the attention it so richly deserves. The Kiss Quotient is the perfect example of own voices that we desperately crave more of. The author is more than qualified to write this story, and I really appreciate how she accurately portrayed the characters and also how she included a deeper aspect of understanding what Stella's parents have journeyed through as well. Highly recommend the audio version as the narrator was engaging and pleasant to listen to.
Adding on another library audio because I’m needing something upbeat to balance out all of the dark reads. My daughter was diagnosed with ASD when she was 3 years old and identifies on the side of the spectrum that was formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome, so I will greedily devour most any novel that features a female Aspie.
Re-read 6/12/18: Hi hello I am still SO obsessed with this book. If you haven’t read it yet, PLEASE READ IT. You absolutely will not regret it.
Original read 5/2/18: I am a swooney mess, oh my LANTA. I haven’t swooned this hard since Joshua Templeman. My heart is so happy right now, I can’t even. WHAT A ROMANCE.
4 1/2 stars. Well, this book. I'm not even sure where to start. I guess I'll begin with an overview.
The Kiss Quotient is a seriously sexy, fun book that has rekindled my interest in the romance genre. When it hits the spot, I LOVE a good romance, but I rarely find one that goes beyond cliches and instalove so I usually end up bored. Not with this one. Not one bit.
It's the perfect blend of sweet and steamy. And let me be clear: this is not YA. There's a lot of graphic sex scenes, though I should also say that the author builds up to it really well; she knows how to tease us. It was just so nice to read a book where sex is actually sexy and not political, cold, a form of manipulation, or not sex at all because consent went out the window.
This is an ownvoices book about Stella, who has Asperger's syndrome. Convinced she needs lessons on how to be good at sex and relationships, she hires Michael, an escort, to teach her. Michael is mixed race - Vietnamese and Swedish - and described as a hotter version of k-drama star Daniel Henney. In a gender-reversed Pretty Woman scenario, the two inevitably end up developing feelings for one another.
Stella's autism makes it difficult for her to know how to behave around other people, and she also struggles with being touched. Through this, the author explores the importance of consent - Michael is deeply respectful of her boundaries and always waits for her to be 100% ready. Perhaps it sounds less sexy than the spontaneous grab-and-go on the office desk sex but it actually isn't. It's kinda wonderful.
Okay, and here's the weird thing. I don't know how to talk about this or if I really should, but I think it is worth mentioning. We talk about the importance of diverse books all the time and the way voices by POC, LGBT+, and those with disabilities are absolutely essential. They foster understanding and help a lot of people realize they are not alone. Well, I got a lesson in just how important books like this can be.
As I was reading about Stella, I started to make some comparisons. I was so affected by it that I made a list. This list:
• Extreme social anxiety
• Loss of focus; frequent "zoning out"
• Fanatic obsession with a small number of interests
• Difficulty reading verbal cues and understanding sarcasm
• No interest in playing with others as a young child
• Avoiding eye contact or overcompensating and staring
• Clumsiness and poor spacial awareness
• Called "quiet" "shy" "weird" and "odd"
• Outbursts of anger when losing or unable to complete a task
• Deep levels of frustration and anxiety when routine disturbed
• Practicing "conversation trees" in head
• Facial tics
Um, yeah. So this is me. Some of these are behaviours I exhibited as a child, but many I still do. It turns out I probably have high functioning autism, formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome. I currently only have a self-diagnosis and a score of 35 out of 40 on the Cambridge autism test (over 32 is high probability of autism) but I am pursuing a professional diagnosis.
Honestly, this book just made me feel so... understood. Everything that I've worked so hard to hide and bury about myself is normalized and even celebrated. So yeah, it is sexy as hell and really sweet, but it's also so important. Seeing as so many women and girls go undiagnosed, this book could offer validation to so many who need it.
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