Reading Recs with Rabia:

“The Bride Test”

In the past, I’ll admit I never loved reading. It wasn’t until the last few years when I learned how to properly read, digest, and analyze literary works that I finally understood the full value of the written word. With my newfound appreciation for books, I began reading novels, thick or thin, sad or happy, but shortly I realized that all of the authors of these books had one thing in common: they were all white. As a person of color and a citizen of the world, I wanted to explore new genres and introduce myself to more diverse voices. Shortly after, one of the first books I picked up was The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.

The plot revolves around a Vietnamese-American boy with autism who believes he’s incapable of love and devoid of anything beyond surface-level feelings. However, his mother has other plans for him and finds him a potential wife, Esme, straight from Vietnam. Esme grew up in the slums and the offer to go to America and get married was one she couldn’t refuse because it meant opportunities for her and her family beyond their humble lifestyle at home. In discussing the perplexity of love, feelings, and emotion, along with the struggles that come with the immigrant experience, The Bride Test did not disappoint. Ultimately, it is a five star-worthy sweet story and is definitely worth the read!