The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Published by Berkley on June 5th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
“She didn’t know how to be semi-interested in something. She was either indifferent . . . or obsessed.”
I’ve always been pretty intimidated by the romance genre. I would scurry past the shelves at the bookstore or the library. But I kept seeing The Kiss Quotient on “The Best Books of 2018.” It also won the Goodreads Choice Awards, which helped to solidify my belief that I needed to get my hands on this book.
Dare I say, I’ve been converted into a romance reader? This book was a quick read that I couldn’t put down. It was fun, cheeky, and sexy. I was invested in Stella’s journey to getting more experience in the dating department. And who wouldn’t want to read about her and the charming Michael getting to know each other?
I’m a sucker for the “Let’s be in a pretend romance and then we’ll fall in love later” trope and Hoang did an excellent job revitalizing the familiar plot device. This book is the perfect mix of sweet and steamy.
I found myself really admiring Stella. She’s a compelling protagonist and Hoang showed us who Stella is beyond being on the spectrum. I loved seeing Stella come into her own and take charge of her own life and her body!
I didn’t know much about the book before reading it, but I was pleasantly surprise by the diversity in the book with Stella having Asperger’s Syndrome and Michael being mixed race. I imagine that’s not always the case with romance novels as we can see from the majority of rom coms coming out of Hollywood.
I want to also point out Hoang’s messaging about consent throughout the book. It was always made clear that Michael wanted to make sure Stella was 100 percent ready before doing anything. He respected her boundaries at all time and the conversation around consent never felt like an after school special. It was well done and I hope more authors explore this when they write about relationships.
I can’t wait to see what else Hoang has up her sleeves for the romance genre!