Helen Hoang’s debut novel, The Kiss Quotient, is a brilliantly creative novel filled with love, lust, and a little bit of academia. The novel surrounds Stella Lane, a diligent 30-year-old econometrician with Asperger’s, who wants to improve her relationship and personal skills. She hires male escort Michael Pham to tutor her, but the pair end up learning more about each other, and love, than they had ever intended.
The Kiss Quotient tells a story with the important overall message that love often comes to us in unexpected ways. Stella and Michael’s relationship is turbulent and frantic, but the novel is undoubtedly a page-turner. It’s told from a third-person narrative, but alternating between Stella and Michael’s viewpoints, which ultimately leads to dramatic irony. Stella’s honest personality, and the author’s use of a protagonist with Asperger’s, is refreshing and unique, and results in an instant re-readable classic.