After a truthful one line criticism of a book that I had read, The amazing Ann from muddlingthroughmymiddleages.com suggested I try my hand a book review. So here goes: SPOILERS… There will be SPOILERS
“The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang Published June 5, 2018
Everyone was talking about this book- magazines, blogs, etc. The teaser for this book had me intrigued: Woman with Asperger’s hires an escort to teach her how to be in a relationship. I thought to myself – Oh- this is going to be like “The Rosie Project” which is about a man on the spectrum who hires a woman to help him become more normal. I loved that book. It’s charming and sweet. That’s the hope that I had for TKQ.
Boy was I wrong.
First off- porn. There is no other word to describe the beginning of this book other than pure, unadulterated sex scenes. Now, I’m no prude, but I don’t need to read about THAT MUCH SEX in a book. Secondly- the book is intimating that people with Asperger’s can only have a relationship if it involves sex, and they must pay for it because no one else is willing to sleep with them. I’m pretty sure that was not the author’s intention, but that’s how I viewed it.
OMG- all the sex. Licking, biting….seriously- there was so much of that it could have been mistaken for a food review. And it was gratuitous sex- it didn’t enhance the novel in any way, it just detracted from the main point.
What was the main point? To show that people on the spectrum (mainly women) often mask their feeling and quirks in an attempt to make themselves appear more “normal”. They figure out how to navigate society and hide their “differences”. This is a pretty noble cause for a book, and I would love to read a book about this. Alas, this was just not the right book. The message of the author in the book comes across as shallow, trite and just not enjoyable.
Now to the love story angle- because of course these people fall in love. Well- I like to see how two characters fall in love. I did not see two characters fall in love. I saw two characters (who were apparently the finest and hottest specimens of humankind ever) have a lot of lusty sex. I saw two characters lust after one another. There was a little conversation thrown in, but really it was peripheral.
And- they were hiding things from one another. They were “falling in love” yet, they weren’t falling for the actual person- they were falling for the masked version. She was trying to hide her Asperger’s from him, he was hiding details of his family/father. How do you fall in love with someone who is hiding things from you? Doesn’t make sense to me. By the time they told each other the secrets they were “in love” and these secrets didn’t bother them.
Yeah right. That’s totally how it would happen in real life.
After I read this book, I thought “What was this author thinking when she wrote the book?” So I read the author note: this was the only redeeming part of the book. The teacher of her five year old daughter told her that she thought the child was on the spectrum. Hoang thought “No way” and had her daughter tested and such. Doctor did not find any reason to declare the child on the spectrum. Hoang was intrigued though, and started reading more about autism and Asperger’s. What she found out started to surprise her- many women on the spectrum try to act “normal” and hide their differences (see- that’s where I got that point I made above) She began to wonder about her own behavior pattern, how many times she acted in a certain way in order to fit in. And she wondered how many undiagnosed cases of autism there are amongst women, because women are able to mask themselves.
“The Kiss Quotient”- don’t waste you time. Ridiculous waste of words. Authors note- totally worth reading