Author: Helen Hoang
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Cheers Factor: 4/5
Pairing: Panty Dropper
This has no pun intended; it's a pomegranate margarita. It’s a panty dropper because any gal who knows tequila knows. IYKYK. This drink makes you want to read this little book.
1 ½ ounces tequila
¾ ounce lime juice
¼ ounce pomegranate juice
½ ounce triple sec
Agave to taste
-dip the rim of a margarita glass in a plate with water
-salt the rim
-combine all remaining ingredients in a shaker
-shake, strain and enjoy
Take a Shot: (18+ for sexual content) Stella Lane is so incredibly smart and loves her work as an econometrician, but she is also very clearly aware of how her autism affects her life and is dearly wanting to make her family happy and fulfill her life by finding a boyfriend and later a husband. However, she believes she needs more help so she hires Michael, a male escort, to teach her how to be a better lover and to overcome some of her impediments when it comes to men and the bedroom.
I want to give this a preface though that Hoang does a magnificent job of ensuring that Stella’s autism is not the defining characteristic of her essence and that her disability is not seen as a disability, but more a facet of who she truly is.
"She was enough."
This couple has my whole heart. Like literally all of it. P.s. if you envision Henry Golding from Crazy Rich Asians as Michael it’s magnificent. Stella is a great character and she is also so smart and aware of herself. I found myself crying multiple times throughout this book and getting quite emotional. I have read books where the protagonist has traits that fit into the autism spectrum, but I’ve never connected with a character like I did Stella.
I personally don’t have the same issues she does, but it felt so real and reading her pain and her emotional journey made me feel as though her struggles were my own. The combination of Michael with Stella was also beautiful too because he didn’t miss a beat when understanding her situation and then accepting it as a part of her and not making it the peak of her abilities in his eyes.
I think the plot of the novel was also done well. It was great in its delivery of a real world couple with the addition of autism as well as sex work. Bringing these two together despite their circumstances it was great. I like reading books about real people with real struggles that also don’t condemn them for those struggles like taking care of a sick parent and doing everything in your power to ensure they are cared for. Overall, the book was just such a great and easy read and I loved it.
This one is a quick read and I promise you will become enamored with Hoang’s writing and want desperately to read more of her work. The second book in the series The Bride Test I’ve heard great things about and the third novel should come out sometime before this summer I believe.
“I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!