Helen Hoang was born in the year of 1982, in Minnesota, United States of America. Hoang is a prominent American writer, most notably in the romance genre. Hoang entered into public view upon the publication of her wonderful debuting book The Kiss Quotient.
How Helen Hoang Was Brought Up
As we noted, Hoang was born and raised in Minnesota for the earliest portion of her life, though she did relocate to California soon thereafter. Hoang’ mom is an immigrant from Vietnam.
During her upbringing and subsequent school years, Hoang had problems with dealing with social anxiety. She notes that her writing of romance stories, namely the fact that they assumed a positive, happy finish, was a way to help her vent against the urges and her anxieties.
Before she took up writing full-time, though, Hoang had acquired her undergraduate degree in Business. Following college, Hoang worked for a time in finance, though she eventually gave that up and began writing as a full-time career.
At the present moment, Hoang resides in San Diego along with her spouse and their two kids. With all of this said, we can now take a deeper look at our review.
The Kiss Quotient Book Series
This is the series that pushed Helen Hoang into writing stardom. We also included it in our selection of the best romance series books. The series, itself, is comprised of a total of three books, and they are:
The Kiss Quotient, published in 2018
The Bride Test, published in 2019
The Heart Principle, expected to be published in 2021
A Fair Warning by Us
Young Adults beware! The series is not for the faint of heart, nor is it tame in terms of sexual material. For one, the series features graphical sex scenes in abundance. They aren’t out of the blue, since Hoang has a keen sense of buildup and subtlety so that the reader can feel when we’re going to veer off into the lecherous treats. Unlike what some of us have become used to in terms of sex: as a means for manipulation, Hoang makes writing about the sexy times, well, sexy.
The main character in the first book, Stella, has Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s syndrome, for the uninitiated, is a developmental disorder that entails difficulties in social situations and difficulty with communication, among other things.
Stella has decided that she needs to learn a good deal about relationships and especially the sexual aspect of relationships. For this reason, she hires an escort to enlighten her on the topics. The escort she ends up hiring is Michael, who, in the book, is described as of a mixed race. Namely, Vietnamese and Swedish.
The Handling of a Mental Illness
Being on the autism spectrum is by no means a helpful trait and Stella has her fair share of troubles with communicating and interacting with people around her. This is the mechanism by which Hoang tackles the themes of consenting sex. Michael is also all up for waiting until Stella is one-hundred percent sure that she wants to pop her cherry. The debut novel of Hoang is a wonderful book, well worth the read!
The second book, The Bride Test, takes a shift in terms of lead characters. Here we have Khai, who is the cousin of Michael from the first book. Khai, himself, is of Vietnamese and American descent. He is also on the autism spectrum. Khai thinks that he is completely incapable of feeling emotions that have meaning. Sensing this, Khai’s mother is prompted to take things into her own hands and find a partner for Khai from their native Vietnam.
The Coming Together of Two Hearts
Esme Tran is thus introduced into the story. Esme was impregnated when she was still fairly young, and she now has troubles and issues with taking care of her child in Ho Chi Minh City. Esme’s father, as she knows, is in America, and she wants to find him. By chance, Esme is given the opportunity to acquire a visa and a journey to California. The catch? All she has to do is seduce Khai.
The two main characters are perfect for each other from the moment that we’ve met them. Khai, for one, comes off as somewhat obsessive and nerdy, though this isn’t conveyed in the typical ‘geeky quips’ manner. No, we learn of his struggles and of his qualities, so that he comes off as genuine as can be.
The Series’ Themes
Similar themes of sexual independence and respect for boundaries are explored in this book, but, as anyone that has read both books will tell you, Khai isn’t just a carbon copy of Stella. They are vastly different, though their struggles are rooted in the same issue.
The Bride Test is just as wonderful as the first book, and doubly funny. Definitely a worthy book to read. The series from Helen Hoang is one of the most riveting series of the last few years. It is no wonder why we took it upon ourselves to give our readers a book review of The Kiss Quotient series.
Helen Hoang is, at the moment, working on the third entry to her series. The title of the book is The Heart Principle, and it is expected to be released sometime in 2021.