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Month in review

Reviews
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
The Barrakee Mystery by Arthur W. Upfield
Bedeviled Eggs by Laura Childs
The BFF Bucket List by Dee Romito
The Bigfoot Files by Lindsay Eagar
Breakout by Kate Messner
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan
Click by Kayla Miller
The Complete Guide to Light by Mark Cleghorn
The Doughnut King by Jessie Janowitz
Fusion for Beginners and Experts by Rebecca Sugar and Angie Wang
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée
Green Trails and Upland Pastures by Walter Prichard Eaton
Guilty Plea by Robert Rotenberg
Heartwood Hotel 2: The Greatest Gift by Kallie George
A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence
Kiss Number 8 by Colleen A.F. Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige and Stephen Bryne
Misfit City Volume 2 by Kirsten Smith
The 91-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman
Read on Arrival by Nora Page
Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins
So Done by Paula Chase
Something Read, Something Dead by Eva Gates
Swallow's Dance by Wendy Orr The Thing About Leftovers by C.C. Payne
Trace by Pat Cummings
Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang
Up for Air by Laurie Morrison

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 01)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 08) It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 15) It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 22) It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 29) June 2019 Sources
June 2019 Summary

Road Essays
Road Narrative Update for June 2019

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020



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The Bride Test: 07/22/19

The Bride Test

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is the second in the Bride Quotient series. It's not exactly a sequel, but Stella and Michael do make appearances. Instead this is the tale of My and Khai. She works as a janitor in Vietnam — the only job a single mother with an American father can find — and he's a Bay Area CPA. My is recruited by Khai's mother who wants to find a bride for him and she believes My is the woman for the job.

My, who for most of the book goes by Emse, isn't a gold digger. Khai is a means to an end at first in that she knows her father went to Cal Berkeley. Her trip to the Bay Area is her opportunity to find him. Although she does hold some key information from Khai (namely the existence of her daughter), she doesn't deceive him.

Khai meanwhile, much to his surprise and annoyance is attracted to My at first sight. He has convinced himself that he is incapable of love. Part of his reasoning is that he's autistic but a bigger reason is that he is grieving for his best friend. The grief angle takes longer to unfold organically through the course of the novel and is heart-wrenching when all the pieces are in place.

Although the set up might imply a strained family relationship, Khai's mother isn't the typical helicopter parent. As the novel progresses she becomes a more sympathetic character. Turns out the entire family is a tightly knit one. She genuinely cares for both her sons and for My's well-being (whether or not she ends up marrying Khai).

Like the first book, the sex scenes are frank and delightfully free of euphemisms. For My, she's been through it before and is rather jaded about the magic of sex — even as she grows to love Khai. Khai is a novice and has over analyzed the process of love and sex. While yes, part of that is his autism — again most of his approach is a result of grief and anxiety.

The third book in the series is The Heart Principal which will be about Khai's brother, Quan. It comes out in 2020.

Five stars

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