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.

SPOILERS

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

 

43 thoughts on “LA Tries a Book Review

  1. I frickin love that you did not sugar coat your feedback on this. We want to support each other as writers, but so often that just leads to soft disingenuous reviews. Also I appreciate your thoughts on all of this, and I’m with you on so many levels. Sexytime is a-ok with me, but sometimes it just feels like someone posted a d**k pic on their facebook page – thanks but no thanks! And I also am with you on the Asperger’s spin. It’s something that should be written about, but it smacks of coarse misunderstanding when it is used to spice up a plot unnecessarily and incorrectly. You my friend are a serious bad ass. <— No sugar coat needed there either. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Coming from you that is the highest compliment ever! I was just so annoyed with this book, especially with all the spin it was getting….there are so many other books that deserve the real estate that is high level book promotion. The message was ridiculous!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find it funny how many poorly written books get such high praise and heavy press. It speaks volumes to the power of advertising but not so much to the quality of the actual book reviews.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds to me like the author wanted to write about the sex she has been missing in her own life. Like you, that is not the type of book I want to read. The Rosie Project was such a funny book, I listened to the audio version, and the Australian actor who read the story with his accent was fantastic. Anyhow, the author must have wanted to make sales. THANKS for the review.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OMG this is laugh-out-loud hilarious!!! “The finest and hottest specimens of humankind ever!” Well isn’t that every single book of a certain type of woman’s fiction? As for the idea that women are likely to change their behavior to fit in, that’s because many women would rather change their behavior and fit in. I don’t think of that as pathological all the time; more like survivalism.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 😀 Please write more book reviews!
    I AM a prude, so thanks for the warnings. Although, I’ve noticed the prudishness only raises its head in cases you’ve described: completely gratuitous and not helping the story in any way.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Agreed. It has been interesting, however, in my reading of the Hemingway biography, that back in the early 20th century, the anti-obscenity laws would forbid publishing even four letter words in works of literature such as novels, let alone actual sex scenes. I think that was a little extreme, but some of the stuff that’s published these days in some so-called serious novels is clearly treading the Ragged Edge of Pornography.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. I don’t like the idea of banning books or censorship of any kind, but sometimes logic should dictate that sex scenes aren’t always necessary to move a plot forward. And in this book I didn’t like the other message it implied

        Like

  5. See? I knew you could write a great book review, and you did! Having read the review, I not only know that this book isn’t worth my time, but I know exactly why. (Although I would read the author’s note.) It sounds as if she had a good point to make, but then got sidetracked when she actually wrote it. I think some writers are worried that if they don’t throw in lots of sex scenes, their book won’t sell (we may have the commercial success of “Shades of Grey” to thank for that one). Like you, I don’t mind sex in a book if it’s there for a reason. But to throw it in there where it doesn’t move the plot along is just silly, and too much detail is actually a turn off.
    And thanks for the shout out and the link, not to mention calling me amazing. Your check is in the mail! Ha! Ann at http://www.muddlingthroughmymiddleage.com!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’re right about the sex scenes…they figure if they throw the, in, people will be intrigued. I want it to be organic, where it makes sense and seems right! Thanks for the encouragement! I think it’s easy to write a review if you didn’t like something. Will have to give it a go with something I like!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I laughed, I thought of sugar-coating and when I arrived here I found people had already been through this. Even if I’m not original, I still think this is a fine book review.

    This is what the world of book reviews needs – a bit of enthusiastic honesty. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you!! FYI, I love your very understated humor, and how you phrase things. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but there was a paragraph in the one I read today that just made me smile

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved The Rosie Project! Thanks for saving me from this mess. I read the 50 Shades series only because I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and I hated all of them. I’m no prude either and sometime a good sex scene is exactly what is needed, but when they’re just gratuitous and extraordinarily graphic, I’m not interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never read the 50shades, though I was intrigued. This book just had too much jammed in the front (no pun intended) I understand why it needed sex, there was just so much the point of the book got muddled

      Liked by 1 person

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