I am slowly but surely getting caught up with my 2020 book reviews. Today, I’m finally posting my thoughts on the contemporary novels The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald and The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. They also both have romance going on in the stories, though I would say Hoang’s is much more romance centered.
Titles link to Goodreads.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
I’m not sure I have a lot to say about this one. Overall, I think was very underwhelmed. I was intrigued by the MC Sara, but as I read on, I kept waiting for something great or fun to happen. Sara herself is a great character and I think many readers will see themselves in her. I also really enjoyed the small town characters that we get to meet, but like the small town of Broken Wheel, there wasn’t a lot happening. And it was a very slow read, but not in an enjoyable way. Sara is definitely on a self discovery track, even if unplanned, which is a story aspect I always enjoy. I saw the romance connection from a mile away, though it was still cute to see how it all came together. I really wanted to really like this book because as a reader, I enjoy stories centered around readers and bookstores. However, this was just an okay read for me.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Like with Hoang’s first novel The Kiss Quotient, I fell in the middle somewhere with this one. Overall, I enjoyed reading it though I think a lot of that has to do with Hoang’s talent as a writer, including but not limited to her ability to showcase neurodiverse characters in different ways. The plot was intriguing if foreign to me as a concept; it did create for an interesting story between Khai and Esme. While the premise would be an easy set up for miscommunication, it didn’t happen as often as I expected. It did happen though and in frustrating ways. No one told Esme that Khai is autistic and so when he does or says things that hurt her, she doesn’t know that he doesn’t do it on purpose. I do, however, like how Khai is written to communicate to Esme what she can and can’t do, like how he can’t physically stand light touches. While there were some small issues, the story is still cute.