As soon as I heard that it's ownvoices novel about a high-functioning autistic woman, I put it on my list but I wanted to save it for the summer because I thought it was a light, easy breezy romance novel ( which it reads like, but isn't).
I finally read this book. I have given it the 4 star review it deserves on goodreads and I have ordered 'The bride Test' which is the next book in the series. Now, I would like to hit you with some thoughts because I don't know how to organize my feelings about this book.
-- There might be some very minor spoilers ahead--
1. The main character is a boss!
Stella is a boss in all of the best ways. She knows what she wants, she knows what she likes, she knows herself and she does not need anyone to pity her or give her unsolicited life lessons. She is the kind of modern day heroine that I have really been enjoying reading about lately because she is not waiting for a man to save her and in the book, she ( and even those around her) make it clear that she can take care of herself.
That is always awesome to see but especially so in this novel because not only are we talking about a woman, but we are talking about a woman with asperger's. She is the kind of person that people assume they have to care for and whose representation in the media is not only lacking but often inaccurate or one dimensional. This was a breath of fresh air.
2. The diversity
Maybe it's just me and the things that I read/watch but when it comes to Asian representation, I see a lot of desi representation, China, Japan and Korea but Vietnam is not a country that is very popular. Michael's family is very Vietnamese-american and it gave me a chance to learn about a culture that I don't hear enough about.
There is also the main character, ofcourse. A lot of the time when we talk about diversity on screen and in books, we forget to include disabilities and disorders in the conversation but they just as important.
I do not know a lot of people who are autistic. Reading a little bit of Stella's thoughts and experience, through Hoang ( The author who is also autistic) taught me a lot of things that I can not get into without spoiling the book but I think that you should also want to find out.
3. It's swoony but it didn't give me all the feels.
Don't get me wrong- this book is romantic. It's a very nice mix of sweet and steamy, It will make you smile, it will make you blush and you will most likely root for the couple - unless you are satan's child- but it felt like it was lacking in certain places. There were some parts that had the potential to make me grin a little more but the writing just didn't take it where it needed to get, in my opinion. I found myself wanting a little bit more romance.
4. It is hella sexy!
This book is just... *Clutches pearls and fans self*. I would definitely let Michael teach me a thing or two... or three. Not only does he sound insanely hot but he very clearly knows what he is doing and on top of that, he is the most responsible lover I've read about in a while. The sex scenes in this book are detailed so my advice is this: do NOT, I repeat DO NOT read this book in public if you blush easily because your body will react...
5. It is educational.
This book is an educational manual on consent and safe sex. One of the things that make Michael so sexy is the way that he communicates and never moves forward unless his partner is not only 100% willing but also ready to go there with him. If anyone ever makes that stupid argument that consent can kill the mood, please throw a copy of this book of this book at them. They will also learn the importance of getting tested and condoms.
This book also has a lot of very important messages scattered all around it. There are little things that Stella says or Michael or even the minor characters like Janie, Michael's sister that make you pause for a second and see things differently.
6. It's a light read.
I know that after reading all of the things I said above, this might feel like a book that has a lot of jargon and heavy topics but it really doesn't feel like it. I devoured this book in one day and a half ( because sadly, I still have a day job) but it was so quick and so beautiful to read, I was grinning the whole time.
Have you read it? Are you in love with my new fictional boyfriend ( Michael)?