MEDIA
The Kiss Quotient
8 CDs. 9:37 hrs. Dreamscape Audio. Jun. 2018. ISBN 9781974900466. $47.99. F
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OrangeReviewStarHoang's debut sparkles with a wit and charm that any seasoned novelist would envy, but it is the genuine emotion at the book's core that will stick with listeners long after the final word has been spoken. Hoang deftly weaves a love story featuring characters whose realities include autism, cancer, dreams denied, familial disappointment, and sex work, in a way that is both refreshingly realistic and disturbingly hilarious. Stella and Michael are superb protagonists whose complementary flaws telegraph their perfection for each other long before they realize it, but it is Michael's large family of opinionated women who do the most to advance the book's emotional arcs (and easily steal every scene they're in). Narrator Carly Robins is equal to the task of living up to Hoang's prose and does an excellent job of voicing the disparate cast of largely female characters.
VERDICT A treat; recommended for all fiction collections. ["Equal parts sugar and spice. Highly recommended": LJ 3/1/18 starred review of the Berkley hc.]

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