The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dat...

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Title:The Kiss Quotient
Author:Helen Hoang
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Kiss Quotient Reviews

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Re-read 6/12/18: Hi hello I am still SO obsessed with this book. If you haven’t read it yet, PLEASE READ IT. You absolutely will not regret it.

    Original read 5/2/18: I am a swooney mess, oh my LANTA. I haven’t swooned this hard since Joshua Templeman. My heart is so happy right now, I can’t even. WHAT A ROMANCE.

  • Christy

    There isn't much better as a reader than finding a debut novel that you have zero expectations for, and it blowing you away.

    did just that. Helen Hoang wrote a book that is smart, sexy, made me laugh, and gave me just the right amount of feels. There wasn't one thing I would change about this story or the characters. I loved everything about it! 

    Stella Lane is a thirty year old econometrician who is smart and successful, but lacking in one area of her life. Relation

    There isn't much better as a reader than finding a debut novel that you have zero expectations for, and it blowing you away.

    did just that. Helen Hoang wrote a book that is smart, sexy, made me laugh, and gave me just the right amount of feels. There wasn't one thing I would change about this story or the characters. I loved everything about it! 

    Stella Lane is a thirty year old econometrician who is smart and successful, but lacking in one area of her life. Relationships. After her mother pressuring her to settle down and meet someone, Stella decides it's time she gives it a try. Stella has Aspergers, a high-functioning form of Autism that makes her a little awkward when it comes to relationships, sex, and certain social situations. Due to this, she decides to hire an escort to 'teach' her how to navigate this. 

    This is where Michael enters. Michael is an escort, but he's so much more than that. He is a stand-up guy who only escorts on Friday nights as a way to help his family financially. Honestly, he feels that he has no choice. When he meets Stella, he is stunned someone like her would hire an escort. She fascinates him. Michael is kind to Stella, he's patient and understanding to her situation. So much so, that being with him one night won't do. 

    Michael and Stella develop a friendship and relationship of sorts. One of my favorite things about this book was seeing how Michael grew to care for Stella, embraced her quirks and handled everything that made her different. Both of these characters made my heart so happy. I adored them both and wanted nothing more than their relationship/friendship to go to the next level. 

    One thing I found so refreshing about this book is Stella's character. I could tell Hoang knew what she was talking about when she wrote Stella. Even though Stella is much different than me, she was very relateable.  Michael and Stella brought out the best in one another and their connection and chemistry were off the charts. 

    is quite honestly one of the best books I've read this year. It was perfection. The story is refreshing and unique, and the writing is intelligent and fresh. I can't wait to see what else Helen Hoang has in store. I'll definitely be reading every and anything else she puts out! 

  • Melanie

    This was my pick for the June 2018

    box!

    Friends,

    is so deserving of every ounce of hype it has received thus far. I am not sure I’ve ever been so happy, and had such a lame grin on my face, while reading any other book. This was heartwarming, beautiful, and a treat to read. Don’t sleep on this on

    This was my pick for the June 2018

    box!

    Friends,

    is so deserving of every ounce of hype it has received thus far. I am not sure I’ve ever been so happy, and had such a lame grin on my face, while reading any other book. This was heartwarming, beautiful, and a treat to read. Don’t sleep on this one. Also, Michael and Stella are both partner goals, I swear.

    This is an ownvoices novel about a high-functioning autistic woman who has succeeded in every aspect of her life, except for love. Her mother is putting pressure on her to find someone and start thinking about family, now that she turned thirty. Plus, Stella is kind of lonely anyway, and as much as she loves throwing herself into her work, she wants to spend her life with someone who she can completely be herself with. The problem is, Stella thinks her autism makes her unable to successfully date, and maybe even unable to be good at/enjoy sex. So, she hires the dreamiest escort to help her!

    The thing is, Michael is an escort that doesn’t do more than one session per client. Yet, after his and Stella’s first night, he might be willing to make an exception. Michael is biracial (Vietnamese and Swedish), fashion designer, and has always put his family first, especially after the way his father left them all. Michael’s mother is also battling cancer, and the medical bills are piling up.

    for unwanted touching and forced kissing, lowkey sexual harassment, anxiety attacks, abandonment, a loved one with a chronic illness, a fatphobic comment/insult, and someone telling someone else about a person’s diagnosis.

    Also, this book has very explicit and graphic sex scenes. But, like, all of the sex scenes in this book are 11/10. So damn hot, I swear. I have a lot more experience with sex than Stella, but I would happily let Michael teach me a thing or two. *clutches pearls forever* But please use caution if that is something you do not enjoy in your books!

    But besides the steamy sex, the beautiful romance, and the lovely messages that are inside this book, my favorite part is that this book never shames Michael for being an escort, and it sure in the hell doesn’t shame Stella for being on the autism spectrum. A lot of other conflicts happen throughout, but those two things are never put in a negative light and it was such a blessing.

    And I never expect a fiction book to teach me anything, but this book gave me such a wonderful glimpse and perspective into some people’s autism. (Obviously, I know that no two people are the same!) From overstimulation with lights, sounds, and smells, to the preferred clothing, to focusing everything into one thing, to the importance of schedules, lists, and reminders! This book was really insightful, and I loved that about it.

    The importance of consent is always at the forefront of this novel. I think that’s why most people who are reading this right now are so in love with Michael, and it’s because he always is thoughtful and so very patient with Stella. He truly puts her needs first, and makes sure he is never overstepping any line that she is not willing to cross.

    And I just loved Stella Lane as a character. She is actually probably my favorite heroine of 2018. Not only does she know who she is, she refuses to change for anyone, even the guy she has fallen in love with. I had happy tears in my eyes so much while reading this, and it was mostly just because I was so proud of her. Michael might be most people’s wet dream, but Stella felt like the character I’ve been searching literature for forever.

    Overall, this was such a perfect read! I loved this from first to last page, and I couldn’t put it down. Here, I’ll really sell you on how good this book is:

    , my most anticipated release of 2018, came in the mail while I was reading this book. And you know what I did? I finished

    before starting it. Seriously, this is a masterpiece. And I can’t wait to see what Helen Hoang does next.

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  • Emily May

    4 1/2 stars. Well,

    . I'm not even sure where to start. I guess I'll begin with an overview.

    is a seriously sexy, fun book that has rekindled my interest in the romance genre. When it hits the spot, I LOVE a good romance, but I rarely find one that goes beyond cliches and instalove so I usually end up bored. Not with this one. Not one bit.

    It's the

    . And let me be clear: this is not YA. There's a lot of graphic sex scenes, though I should

    4 1/2 stars. Well,

    . I'm not even sure where to start. I guess I'll begin with an overview.

    is a seriously sexy, fun book that has rekindled my interest in the romance genre. When it hits the spot, I LOVE a good romance, but I rarely find one that goes beyond cliches and instalove so I usually end up bored. Not with this one. Not one bit.

    It's the

    . And let me be clear: this is not YA. There's a lot of graphic sex scenes, though I should also say that the author builds up to it really well; she knows how to tease us. It was just so nice to read a book where sex is actually sexy and not political, cold, a form of manipulation, or not sex at all because consent went out the window.

    This is an ownvoices book about Stella, who has Asperger's syndrome. Convinced she needs lessons on how to be good at sex and relationships, she hires Michael, an escort, to teach her. Michael is mixed race - Vietnamese and Swedish - and described as a hotter version of k-drama star Daniel Henney. In a gender-reversed

    scenario, the two inevitably end up developing feelings for one another.

    Stella's autism makes it difficult for her to know how to behave around other people, and she also struggles with being touched. Through this, the author explores the

    - Michael is deeply respectful of her boundaries and always waits for her to be 100% ready. Perhaps it sounds less sexy than the spontaneous grab-and-go on the office desk sex but it actually isn't. It's kinda wonderful.

    Okay, and here's the weird thing. I don't know how to talk about this or if I really should, but I think it is worth mentioning. We talk about the importance of diverse books all the time and the way voices by POC, LGBT+, and those with disabilities are absolutely essential. They foster understanding and help a lot of people realize they are not alone. Well, I got a lesson in just how important books like this can be.

    As I was reading about Stella, I started to make some comparisons. I was so affected by it that I made a list. This list:

    • Extreme social anxiety

    • Loss of focus; frequent "zoning out"

    • Fanatic obsession with a small number of interests

    • Difficulty reading verbal cues and understanding sarcasm

    • No interest in playing with others as a young child

    • Avoiding eye contact or overcompensating and staring

    • Clumsiness and poor spacial awareness

    • Called "quiet" "shy" "weird" and "odd"

    • Outbursts of anger when losing or unable to complete a task

    • Deep levels of frustration and anxiety when routine disturbed

    • Practicing "conversation trees" in head

    • Facial tics

    Um, yeah. So this is me. Some of these are behaviours I exhibited as a child, but many I still do. It turns out I probably have high functioning autism, formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome. I currently only have a self-diagnosis and a score of 35 out of 40 on the Cambridge autism test (over 32 is high probability of autism) but I am pursuing a professional diagnosis.

    Huh.

    Honestly, this book just made me feel so... understood. Everything that I've worked so hard to hide and bury about myself is normalized and even celebrated. So yeah, it is sexy as hell and really sweet, but it's also so important. Seeing as

    , this book could offer validation to so many who need it.

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  • Roxane

    The Kiss Quotient is quite the unexpected romance novel. Stella Lane is on the spectrum and wants to get better at sex so she can, hopefully, find a life partner and start the family her parents so very much want her to have. To get better at sex she hires Michael, an escort with a lot of debt and a few secrets but who, somehow, is exactly the man she needs. Of course he is! That's how romance novels work. But this is such a fun read and it's also quite original and sexy and sensitive. Stella is

    The Kiss Quotient is quite the unexpected romance novel. Stella Lane is on the spectrum and wants to get better at sex so she can, hopefully, find a life partner and start the family her parents so very much want her to have. To get better at sex she hires Michael, an escort with a lot of debt and a few secrets but who, somehow, is exactly the man she needs. Of course he is! That's how romance novels work. But this is such a fun read and it's also quite original and sexy and sensitive. Stella is a really compelling protagonist and Hoang does a fine job of showing us who this woman is and how she negotiates a world that isn't as welcoming to her as she deserves. Lots to admire her! Well worth a read.

  • Melissa

    There’s been a ton of buzz surrounding this novel and I would say, rightly so for

    reason. With this story,

    gives voice to a syndrome that until now has been absent in the romance genre. Through her cast of endearing characters, she explores the importance of self-acceptance and the desire we all have to find that one person who makes establishing an intimate relationship feel effortless.

    There’s been a ton of buzz surrounding this novel and I would say, rightly so for

    reason. With this story,

    gives voice to a syndrome that until now has been absent in the romance genre. Through her cast of endearing characters, she explores the importance of self-acceptance and the desire we all have to find that one person who makes establishing an intimate relationship feel effortless.

    Viewing the world through an autistic lens brings a fresh energy to the storyline

    , but it doesn't take long for the formulaic feel of the plot to overshadow the quirkiness of the cast.

    A gender-swapped

    of sorts,

    introduces the reader to Stella Lane, an incredibly smart and driven, thirty-something, living with high-functioning Asperger’s. Her social awkwardness, lack of interpersonal skills and myriad of other eccentricities have been a hinderance on her relationship status. Her best bet, she figures, is to start by improving her skills in the bedroom.

    So, how does one go about getting better at sex? I guess, if you’re rich and lacking in social skills, you hire a male escort to teach you a few things. Who better to learn from than a professional, right? Lucky for Stella, Michael is the perfect specimen of a man. Tailor by day, sexual escort every Friday night and all around

    guy—what could go wrong? In the real world, probably a lot; but this is fiction.

    fiction.

    What's a romance novel without a happy ending?—it's pretty much a given this is

    to happen. Aside from the character traits I admired in both Stella and Michael, their love story felt dare I say . . .

    . Their budding relationship narrowly avoids insta-love, is paved with convenience and the will-they/won't-they is fueled solely by miscommunication on both their parts, which takes on a stale note rather quickly. And while we would all love to fall for someone who completely understand us—no questions asked—it’s unrealistic to think it would ever happen

    easily.

    Despite all of my issues with the plot, I still found this to be a worthwhile read. My big takeaway—

    ’s message in the

    following Stella and Michael's story—be unapologetically you.

  • Lola

    I am… not impressed.

    How lovely that this is an #ownvoices novel. Stella is autistic, as is the author, and so, no one can say that it is not authentic.

    But the storyline is not, however, very realistic.

    See, Stella is bad at sex, or so she says. She’s also bad at relationships and human interactions in general. So she hires Michael, an escort, to teach her a thing or two.

    Or three. *suggestive eyebrows*

    I was entertained for the first fifty or so pages, then I became tired of the sex talk. Do we rea

    I am… not impressed.

    How lovely that this is an #ownvoices novel. Stella is autistic, as is the author, and so, no one can say that it is not authentic.

    But the storyline is not, however, very realistic.

    See, Stella is bad at sex, or so she says. She’s also bad at relationships and human interactions in general. So she hires Michael, an escort, to teach her a thing or two.

    Or three. *suggestive eyebrows*

    I was entertained for the first fifty or so pages, then I became tired of the sex talk. Do we really need to talk about it in every single page? No, we don’t.

    I was expecting a smart romance, but it really isn’t that original. Of course, the fact that the main character is autistic is a breath of fresh air, but I didn’t connect with her. I *understood* her – she’s pretty straightforward and eloquent – but none of the characters felt particularly three dimensional to me.

    It’s a lot of will they/won’t they, but the reader knows that they will. Come on. So the fact that the protagonists are so confused about their feelings for one another gets old fast and becomes rather annoying. Enough!

    It also isn’t… romantic. Or extremely sexy. It’s steamy at times – what with all the sex/foreplay I sure hope so – but it didn’t summon stars in my eyes (or, something else…) and I will soon forget about this couple. It didn’t help that the writing was quite dry.

    I know. This is an important book. But I won’t rate a book highly if it didn’t win my heart, especially considering that there are other *important* novels out there that actually managed to claim a place on my list of favourites.

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  • emma

    things about this that were very good:

    - the autism rep

    - the fact that while the author was researching said autism rep, she got diagnosed with autism

    - this is #ownvoices for autism and asian rep! yay! cool inclusion of vietnamese culture!

    - the female character is the moneymaker/works in STEM and the male character has less money/is a creative! employment gender role reversal.

    things about this that were not very good, for me, personally, sorry:

    - a woman getting f*cked out of some of her autism sy

    things about this that were very good:

    - the autism rep

    - the fact that while the author was researching said autism rep, she got diagnosed with autism

    - this is #ownvoices for autism and asian rep! yay! cool inclusion of vietnamese culture!

    - the female character is the moneymaker/works in STEM and the male character has less money/is a creative! employment gender role reversal.

    things about this that were not very good, for me, personally, sorry:

    - a woman getting f*cked out of some of her autism symptoms

    - a man not taking no for an answer (one time a man does this and it's Bad. but when the hot love interest does it, it is Very Very Good, apparently.)

    - i did not like the smut and i am sorry but i did not

    - the word "quirky" turns me off a character faster than you can say not like other girls

    - the protector-man gender roles were so bad

    - also so much "chicks love that romantic stuff" and "men never talk about feelings" type gender roles

    - REALLY WEIRD PARENT CHARACTERS WITH INCONSISTENT CHARACTERIZATION

    - felt pretty insta-lovey to me. like one second both are like "we cannot be in love!!!! never will we allow ourselves!!!" and the next. boom. lovefest city, population these two nerds.

    anyway. this book didn't work for me but clearly i'm in the teeniest minority in world history so.

    bottom line: read this if it sounds good to you i guess? basically the bottom line of all my reviews is "please do not feel compelled to listen to my opinion and/or take it seriously."

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    CURRENTLY-READING UPDATES

    this is...a lot.

  • شيماء ✨

    This book might have turned out to be a disappointment but at least it’s not a Percy Jackson movie.

    I really wanted to love this book. It seemed great for the first half but the ending felt trivial, almost mocking the seriousness of the rest of the book. Plus, I can't shake off a fizz of uneasiness with the way many things have been dealt with.

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