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The Heart Principle

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When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She's going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better. That's where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex: he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna's family, she takes on a role she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.


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When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She's going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better. That's where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex: he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna's family, she takes on a role she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

30 review for The Heart Principle

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    How much of what people say is genuine and how much is politeness? Is anyone really living their life or are we all reading lines from a giant script written by other people? I gave The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test five stars, so now I need a sixth star to emphasise how Hoang's latest book was my absolute favourite. The Heart Principle was everything I wanted, and so much more. Hot, sweet, sad, deeply personal. This is a big claim, but it genuinely might be my favourite romance novel ever How much of what people say is genuine and how much is politeness? Is anyone really living their life or are we all reading lines from a giant script written by other people? I gave The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test five stars, so now I need a sixth star to emphasise how Hoang's latest book was my absolute favourite. The Heart Principle was everything I wanted, and so much more. Hot, sweet, sad, deeply personal. This is a big claim, but it genuinely might be my favourite romance novel ever. As always, Hoang's author's note explains her personal reasons for writing this kind of story, but I suspected early on that the raw emotions the book explores, and the sad places it goes to, were inspired by her own experiences. For one thing, The Heart Principle is written in first person, not third like her other books, which I generally prefer for romance anyway. For another, I felt completely immersed in this story, pulled so entirely into Anna and Quan's world, their feelings and experiences seeming so real. There's a lot going on in this book; a lot more than a romance, though that is done excellently too. Anna and Quan are so lovely (I think “I’ll wear rainbows out with you" is the most romantic thing I've ever heard a guy say) , so kind, their vulnerabilities so real, yet the chemistry between them sizzles off the page. One thing Hoang continues to excel at is writing sexy romances where neither of the protagonists are assholes. As I said, though, there's a lot more than romance going on here. It is about a woman being diagnosed with ASD later in life and beginning to make sense of everything she had previously struggled to mask. It's also about caregiving for someone who is terminally ill, and I really appreciate the discussion Hoang has opened with this. A lot of caregivers find themselves struggling and unable to cope, though they feel too guilty to ask for help. Nobody should feel too ashamed to ask for help when they need it. And the book is also about depression and anxiety, how they can make you feel immobilised, and the long journey of fighting against these illnesses. It's also, I think, about the burden of expectations. From society, to perform a socially acceptable role. From family and friends, when it comes to caregiving. And from an audience, when you've gained a certain amount of popularity. It makes me sad to think this quote from Anna might reflect Hoang's own feelings: The truth is art will never be as effortless as it used to be, not now that people have expectations of me. It's another beautiful emotional book from an author who seems to put so much heart into everything she creates.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    ***ARC provided through NetGalley*** Don’t mind me, just sitting here, MIND BLOWN by this book. Seriously, someone go find some goddamn paper towels because there are chunks of brain matter all over the floor. My relationship with this trilogy has been a little rocky in the past but The Heart Principle said “fuck ur expectations” and then proceeded to ruin my life. The story follows Anna, a professional violinist who is experiencing creative burnout after a video of her performing goes viral on Y ***ARC provided through NetGalley*** Don’t mind me, just sitting here, MIND BLOWN by this book. Seriously, someone go find some goddamn paper towels because there are chunks of brain matter all over the floor. My relationship with this trilogy has been a little rocky in the past but The Heart Principle said “fuck ur expectations” and then proceeded to ruin my life. The story follows Anna, a professional violinist who is experiencing creative burnout after a video of her performing goes viral on YouTube. At the same time, her serious boyfriend suggests they see other people before making the commitment to marry each other. Heartbroken, Anna uses her new open relationship to try and shake things up in her life, inviting change in the form of the tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan (who we all know and love from previous installments in the series). Their relationship begins slowly, but it won me over RIDICULOUSLY fast. Let’s discuss-- I am a cold-hearted bitch, as we know. It takes a lot to make me feel, but this book really yanked me through the wringer. The sheer amount of trust and support in Anna and Quan’s romance was sweet and swoon-worthy, and their individual fights for self-acceptance basically had me leveled from page one (I am 127% sure I would’ve cried if my pesky tear ducts actually functioned). I mean it, Anna’s coming to terms with her new diagnosis of ASD and struggling to connect with family members, all while providing care for a terminally ill parent, alongside Quan’s own journey to regain confidence after surviving cancer, had the emotional intensity reaching peak levels. It is a truly heart wrenching read at times. As a result of what both deal with over the course of the story, The Heart Principle has a more serious tone in comparison to the rest of the series, but I personally didn’t mind the focus being shifted off of the main couple from time to time. Their separate journeys were so authentically human. It was what made the book stand out to me, and why I believe that it is Helen Hoang’s strongest release to date. The only thing I would have changed was the length of time that was spent concluding all the open plotlines. Things definitely got a bit hectic at the end, and there was room for a little more attention to be placed on wrapping things up satisfactorily in a way that didn’t seem rushed. That said, even with that tiny criticism, I'm still very impressed with the overall story and can’t imagine giving it anything less than five stars. As Hoang reveals in the author’s note, this book is particularly personal to her, which is apparent. Not only because of the technical aspects, like being written in the first person as opposed to third, but also in the level of care that was given to the characters’ arcs. I admire her for being able to unpack such intimate difficulties in a novel, and I do think that it’s going to impact many of the people who read it in a beneficial way. The Heart Principle comes out on August 31st and I implore you: buy it, borrow it, find a copy on the side of the road, JUST READ IT (if u wanna lol) (no pressure) (but also PRESSURE).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I like that this book tackled heavier subjects and focused on the main character’s development with the romance taking a back burner in the second half of the story. However, the simplicity of the writing didn’t develop the plot points deeply enough for my liking, despite the author writing from a personal place. The romance and overall conclusion also felt rushed. Lastly, I wish the love interest Quan had more development for his own story if we were going to see the protagonist go through a lo I like that this book tackled heavier subjects and focused on the main character’s development with the romance taking a back burner in the second half of the story. However, the simplicity of the writing didn’t develop the plot points deeply enough for my liking, despite the author writing from a personal place. The romance and overall conclusion also felt rushed. Lastly, I wish the love interest Quan had more development for his own story if we were going to see the protagonist go through a lot on her own too. His story had so much setup in the other books that this one didn’t give as much as promised.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roxane

    I am a fan of Hoang’s writing and this was a great novel. Anna is one of the author’s stronger characters and this was as much a novel about a woman coming into herself and learning to manage a later in life autism diagnosis as it is a sexy romance novel. It was also great to see Quan and Michael again. A very affecting novel I found satisfying in every way.

  5. 5 out of 5

    CristiinaReads❀

    Two individuals from different worlds that cross paths towards the way of healing, and learning more about each other for the better of their individual selves... Years of anticipation made us all Helen Hoang lovers crave Quan's novel for a very long time. Now that's finally here there is a lot that shocked me while reading his book. This is not just a romance novel that touches base on two characters that find the best of each other both physically and emotionally. This is also a story of a Two individuals from different worlds that cross paths towards the way of healing, and learning more about each other for the better of their individual selves... Years of anticipation made us all Helen Hoang lovers crave Quan's novel for a very long time. Now that's finally here there is a lot that shocked me while reading his book. This is not just a romance novel that touches base on two characters that find the best of each other both physically and emotionally. This is also a story of a young woman who struggles with the institution of finding herself and accepting her real identity as a woman that is part of the spectrum. The beauty of it all, with the knowledge that we know of Helen's personal story as being part of the spectrum as well, is the first pov difference in comparison to the first and second novel that we got. With Anna being at a cross roads of accepting the open relation her boyfriend wants to be in, or separate from the one person whom she has thought will be the one for her due to the fact that her family adores him. She has to come to a realization by herself that saying "no" is a standing decision that is an inner struggle. Because all she wants is to please her family and the struggle to say "no" is not an easy task. Especially when her older sister puts so much pressure on her to not have an "attitude" and act like the way she should be acting. With that, Anna is also stuck with the fact that she must find some inspiration to help her finish her violin piece that has been in the loop of not ever being done. And then we have Quan... the sexy, kendo lover, tattooed big hulk of a man that has a heart made of passion and love. A teddy bear of a man who wants nothing more in life than to love Anna and make her feel comfortable with herself. But at the same, he keep himself guarded after a life changing choice he had to make that made him doubt whether he would ever be able to be with someone as beautiful and smart as Anna. And when they are both finally together, he learns that struggle of being accepted by her family is not an easy task either. Something in which I can relate to as being part of the hispanic culture, where your parents will always want the best for you and will judge anyone who comes in the way. Even without them knowing you. And that is the first encounter he comes across when he meets Anna's parents. Being judged is not something new to him, but not being accepted after demonstrating that he is worthy is unlike his character. But no matter what, Anna will always accept him the way he is, and her path with his will always align; "I'm not surprised that I'm coming straight to her. My compass always points to her..." With that being said, this is a story filled with personal acknowledgment by Helen. A story that will give you an insight to her inner mental battles as a woman in this generation that is part of the spectrum. Not everyone can understand, but knowing what to do and what not to do is also a good insight to those whom cannot express themselves in the spectrum. Helen knows how much I appreciate her as an author, and she knows that hers have a strong power to brake it or make it in the book community. To end this long review, I just want to give you a fair warning to have your box of tissues ready... because you will need 'em. ARC kindly provided by Berkley Romance, in exchange for an honest review... Follow Me On: Instagram ♕ Twitter

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Happy pub day! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Sigh-smile-cry : I’m repeating this routine for last 28 hours after finishing this book because I keep replaying the special moments of the story on my mind. It affected so much more than I expected! I can honestly say two things about this freaking brilliant story: it’s the most intense, sad, emotional book of the series with most adorable characters.And it’s also best of best book of the series. Yes, it extremely sentimental, touching your soul, making you sad and stabb Happy pub day! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Sigh-smile-cry : I’m repeating this routine for last 28 hours after finishing this book because I keep replaying the special moments of the story on my mind. It affected so much more than I expected! I can honestly say two things about this freaking brilliant story: it’s the most intense, sad, emotional book of the series with most adorable characters.And it’s also best of best book of the series. Yes, it extremely sentimental, touching your soul, making you sad and stabbing you my heart several times with tiny little glass pieces. You are shaken to the core. You feel so much and it makes you exhausted. Both of the main characters are so real, genuine, struggling, suffering, exhausted, carrying so much on their shoulders. It’s so easy to connect with them and their problems they’re dealing with. Especially Anna’s family dynamics, her fight against her own anxiety issues, the pressure she feels to adjust and form normal social relationships are so familiar to me. There are so many sensitive issues are realistically addressed in this book including grief, terminal disease, cancer, caretaking, stroke, AS. Each issues are discussed open heartedly and teaches us a lot to help connecting with our own life problems and our loved ones who also suffered or still suffering from the same issues. Anna Sun is a talented violinist who became popular with a viral YouTube video , her career takes out. She goes to international tour, getting record deal and modern composer writes a piece just for her. But after the virtual popularity and being called as music prodigy from several highly important music authorities she feels like suffocated for carrying extra pressure on her shoulders to be unique and perfect! She’s overwhelmed by people’s high expectations. Now she gets lost playing in loops because nothing is good enough. That’s not her only issue forced her to see a therapist ( if they adapt this book in movie: I hope Jen Anniston plays the therapist) She’s full time people pleaser. She always put people’s needs first and she has no idea what makes her happy, what she truly wants or desires. She observes people and copy their manners to feel normal and be part of social circle. But she has been struggling for years and she cannot make her family or her boyfriend happy. She never feels good enough! Something should be wrong about her! When her self centered, narcissistic douche bag boyfriend who never cares to listen her opinions decides they should see different people before getting married ( by the way he didn’t even ask her to marry with him) she gets flabbergasted and angry. Her virtual musician friends encourage her to use dating sites for rebound! And that’s how her faith crosses with the most sweet, charismatic, kind hearted Quan who can check all the boxes for best book boyfriend ( I think I need extra review space to tell how much I loved him. ) Quan recently survived from a fatal disease. He’s still emotionally struggling but luckily he has lovely supporting family, a great friend and also business partner Michael who may be defined as real brother for him. After his trauma and critical surgery, he buried his head into his kids apparel business he created which attracts attention of leading fashion companies of the industry. With Michael’s endorsement, he applies dating sides and his path crosses with quirky, smart, intriguing Anna. They start texting, discussing documentaries and their common adoration about the octopus they’ve seen on series. They decided to have one night hookup but they both have issues to keep things casual and trust a stranger when they’re so sensitive and scared. So several hookup tries later, Quan realizes he doesn’t want to stop seeing her and Anna feels the same about him. But people make plans God laughs. A family tragedy strikes and Anna takes on role that she’s ill suited for, until her family demands threaten to destroy everything she built with Quan. It’s sad, meaningful, heart wrenching, powerful and one of the most genuine, real, touchy, soul crushing romantic story. This book is about our traumas, our family issues, being brave, liberating ourselves, taking risks, getting out of our shelves, destroying the barriers we built, our weaknesses make us who we are, power of true love! No more words! This is best romance of the year. And the best book Helen Hoang has written! I freaking loved it so much! So many thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy of the most anticipated book of the year with me in exchange my honest opinions. blog instagram facebook twitterm

  7. 4 out of 5

    chan ☆

    i have very conflicting feelings about this book and simply rating won't sum up my feelings. to start, when i finished this book i felt... angry. angry for anna, angry for quan, and then angry that no one properly warned me what this book was all about. i read reviews and i certainly got the feeling that this wasn't going to be a romcom but i didn't expect to come away from this reading experience, frankly, traumatized. reading that back, it's sounding a little melodramatic and maybe i'm just the i have very conflicting feelings about this book and simply rating won't sum up my feelings. to start, when i finished this book i felt... angry. angry for anna, angry for quan, and then angry that no one properly warned me what this book was all about. i read reviews and i certainly got the feeling that this wasn't going to be a romcom but i didn't expect to come away from this reading experience, frankly, traumatized. reading that back, it's sounding a little melodramatic and maybe i'm just the most sensitive bitch on the planet but i have a bitter taste in my mouth after finishing. anyway lemme try and explain: i would say about 70% of this story is sad. anna is tasked with caregiving for a sick relative which i found traumatizing to read about. she's gaslighted continuously by friends and family. she's in a really horrible mental state before all of this happens and it just gets worse as the story goes on. quan is feeling self conscious and sad after his cancer treatment and surgery. he fights for anna who is in no place to give him the love that he needs. and the other 30% is a romance, sort of. early on in the book i had so much appreciation for quan's patience and all of the sweet scenes between him and anna. but as the book carried on, the romance had to take a back seat to the life stuff and as a result we get two people clinging to each other for imo unexplainable reasons. to be clear: i did not hate this book. i will forever be in love with helen hoang's focus and attention on autism representation. i was rooting for these characters! and overall the book elicited an emotional reaction a few times which must mean something right? i don't cry over just anything. but when i look at this book as a romance, and especially as one of my most anticipated of the year i can't say that this is going to be a favorite.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    Quan finally getting his own story Me: I have been eagerly awaiting Quan's book since I first read about him in The Kiss Quotient, a few years ago. I always knew that his book was going to be amazing because he was just such an amazing character and I was totally right! This book was by far my favorite of the three books in this series. As always, Helen Hoang fills her books with complex and compelling characters going through their own journeys of personal and emotional growth, as well as fallin Quan finally getting his own story Me: I have been eagerly awaiting Quan's book since I first read about him in The Kiss Quotient, a few years ago. I always knew that his book was going to be amazing because he was just such an amazing character and I was totally right! This book was by far my favorite of the three books in this series. As always, Helen Hoang fills her books with complex and compelling characters going through their own journeys of personal and emotional growth, as well as falling in love. Anna was such an interesting and strong character. Her story was heartbreaking and incredibly emotional. Anna feels as if she carries the weight and pressure of the world on her shoulders as she struggles to come to terms with the things that make her different while also trying her hardest to fit into the role her family has decided for her. Then there's Quan, who was always emotional support in these books. He was always so confident and self-assured, but after recovering from cancer he's suddenly doubting himself. In this book, we get to see the depth and complexity of his character and I loved every second of it. **This last part may contain minor spoilers. Nothing specific is said but I know some of y'all are sensitive to spoilers so beware!** While I was reading the ending of this book I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed. I wanted that neat happily ever after where everything is quickly wrapped up and everyone smiles and all is fine with the world. And while this book does have a happily ever after (it by definition isn't a romance book if it doesn't) it's not one that was easily earned. It didn't come right after the characters got together. The problems weren't all magically fixed. And the more about it, the more that this became my favorite thing about the book. Being in love doesn't fix everything. It doesn't cure depression or solve years' worth of trauma. But being with people that love you certainly does make things easier. Helen Hoang truly wrote the perfect ending in that regard. **POTENTIAL SPOILER ENDED** My one issue with his book is that for all that it's well written and emotional, and great, it's not as romance-focused as a romance novel should be. Romance takes a back seat for large chunks of the book to the point that the two leads go weeks at a time without seeing each other. And yes, it's to deal with their respective issues, but it is a romance novel after all and I wanted all those missed moments. All that said, in the end, I really enjoyed this book and really look forward to whatever else Helen Hoang has in store! TW: severe anxiety/depression, ableism, cancer, death of a loved one, suicidal ideation Rating: 4.25/5 **I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.** Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr || Pinterest

  9. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Jenkins Reid

    When Anna’s boyfriend declares he wants an open relationship, her hurt and anger propel her to have a one-night stand. But things don’t go according to plan once she meets Quan. After multiple failed attempts to have their one night only, they quickly realize their connection is deeper than anticipated. If you’ve read Helen's other books in the trilogy, you might be surprised by just how emotionally raw this one is. But if you’re prepared for the journey, it’s a great one. When Anna’s boyfriend declares he wants an open relationship, her hurt and anger propel her to have a one-night stand. But things don’t go according to plan once she meets Quan. After multiple failed attempts to have their one night only, they quickly realize their connection is deeper than anticipated. If you’ve read Helen's other books in the trilogy, you might be surprised by just how emotionally raw this one is. But if you’re prepared for the journey, it’s a great one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Yun

    I don't even know how to begin to rate or review this book, because this isn't the story I signed up to read. First and foremost, I do want to thank Helen Hoang for being courageous enough to write this story. It's clear that this is a deeply personal book for her, and in the author's note, she said as much, calling this "half a memoir." I went into this expecting a sweet and heartfelt romance. I'd read both of Hoang's previous two books, and loved them for their diverse and nuanced depiction of p I don't even know how to begin to rate or review this book, because this isn't the story I signed up to read. First and foremost, I do want to thank Helen Hoang for being courageous enough to write this story. It's clear that this is a deeply personal book for her, and in the author's note, she said as much, calling this "half a memoir." I went into this expecting a sweet and heartfelt romance. I'd read both of Hoang's previous two books, and loved them for their diverse and nuanced depiction of people on the autism spectrum. For a condition that's fairly common, the representation of neuroatypical main characters in books and movies is woefully lacking, which is why I found Hoang's books particularly refreshing. But that isn't the main focus of this book, not by a long shot. Instead, this book should've come with a long list of trigger warnings, including abuse and bullying from family members, gaslighting, emotional blackmail, going against a loved one's wishes during end of life, caregiver burnout, and suicidal thoughts, just to name a few. The way Asian culture is portrayed in this book, in particular the way Anna's mom and sister disregarded her autonomy at every opportunity and actively worked to keep her mentally beaten down so that she would comply with their wishes, is so accurate as to be too much for me to handle. It hits too close to home. While reading this, I was so distraught I felt almost physically ill. Can anyone actually remain emotionally in control while reading a story reenacting trauma they themselves have experienced or have watched people they love be subjected to and are still recovering from? If you can, you are a stronger person than I am. How can I even think about this book in the context of a romance? Whenever Quan and Anna are together, it's beautiful, but other than the initial setup, it was just a few pages here and there. The romantic and sexy scenes, when they did show up, felt so jarring against the otherwise darkness that is this story. I made it all the way to the end of this book, but I shouldn't have started. It reopened wounds I'm working hard to heal and move on from. I felt like I was being sliced open from the inside, and it was traumatic and distressing. I think most readers will love this book and appreciate its unflinching and truthful portrayal. But my personal experiences make me unable to enjoy it. This was my Book of the Month pick for August. If you're curious about BOTM or want to find out how to get your first book for $5, click here.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    5+ stars “You’re a big deal—to me. You’re amazing—to me." I was not expecting this. I didn't think The Heart Principle would hit so hard, but it really did. I wasn't ready for this book. I felt so overwhelmed while reading it, but my goodness... I loved it so much. I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being my top read of 2021. Anna Sun is a violinist who is struggling. After going viral in a YouTube video she's felt the pressure and it's building and building each and every da 5+ stars “You’re a big deal—to me. You’re amazing—to me." I was not expecting this. I didn't think The Heart Principle would hit so hard, but it really did. I wasn't ready for this book. I felt so overwhelmed while reading it, but my goodness... I loved it so much. I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being my top read of 2021. Anna Sun is a violinist who is struggling. After going viral in a YouTube video she's felt the pressure and it's building and building each and every day. In all aspects of her life she feels this way, but especially when it comes to the violin. Quan is struggling as well, but in a different way. After a health scare/medical procedure, he's not felt 100% like himself. They're both coping in different ways. When Anna and Quan meet, neither are in the best place, Anna specifically. Quan never judges Anna for this. He never expects anything or asks for more than she can give and he was the most patient man. So genuine, real, and exceptional. Quan is an incredible guy. The romance of this book wasn't always the primary focus, but it was a big part of the story and such a gorgeous part. "Just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean we need to throw it away.” He’s talked to me a reasonable amount, listened to me, laughed with me, seen me at my worst, held me while I cried. And he stayed because I asked him to. Anna's story is so multifaceted and there were parts that were so relatable to me, and other parts that weren't at all. My heart broke for her. A big part of this book shows Anna struggling with caregiver burn out and essentially feeling forced to do this caregiving when it doesn't feel natural to her. I personally am a natural caregiver. It was easy for me to decide to be a nurse. It's not always an easy job and it can be even harder taking care of your own loved ones. There were times in this book I cried for Anna. Caregiving is such a hard job and making decisions for your loved ones when they can't is one of the hardest things ever. Especially (view spoiler)[when family members just aren't ready to let go, even if it's what's best. I've worked a lot with hospice patients and you see this so much. That scene where her dad was communicating with her that he was ready... I sobbed (hide spoiler)] . Reading the authors note at the end and hearing from Helen and how much she could relate to Anna, especially the mental health aspect of her story just made me respect Hoang more. How brave is it to put that part of your life, the hardest part, out there and share it with us. It's important to talk about and I'm so glad that Helen did. Anna's story wasn't always easy to read, but her growth was inspirational and I loved watching her soar. “I’ll draw a line around you, and I’ll protect you and stand up for you and speak up for you when it’s right. I’ll keep you safe. And I’ll do the same for me. Because I matter, too.” With every Helen Hoang book I read, I'm blown away more and more. She is such a talented writer and the stories she brings to life are all unique, real, and stunning. The Heart Principle is her best work to date. It's raw, heart wrenching, healing, beautiful, and powerful. This book was everything and is a must read for all readers. Trust me, it's worth the tears!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helen Hoang

    For those who are interested, I'd be honored to sign a copy of this book for you. You can order here (they ship internationally): https://www.therippedbodicela.com/pro... Thank you to everyone who's reading and reviewing this book! Truly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is an extremely personal book for me, and it means the world to me that you're gifting me with your time. I wish you well. <3 For those who are interested, I'd be honored to sign a copy of this book for you. You can order here (they ship internationally): https://www.therippedbodicela.com/pro... Thank you to everyone who's reading and reviewing this book! Truly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is an extremely personal book for me, and it means the world to me that you're gifting me with your time. I wish you well. <3

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Just sobbed my way through the author's note and I am not okay wow this was absolutely Helen Hoang's best book yet. So very different from her previous work, but in the best way. Review to come. CW: severe anxiety/depression/burnout, ableism, hospice care, cancer, sterility, death of a loved one, toxic familial relationships, suicidal ideation Just sobbed my way through the author's note and I am not okay wow this was absolutely Helen Hoang's best book yet. So very different from her previous work, but in the best way. Review to come. CW: severe anxiety/depression/burnout, ableism, hospice care, cancer, sterility, death of a loved one, toxic familial relationships, suicidal ideation

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexis Hall

    **Sneakily obtained on NG from the UK publisher since the US publisher doesn’t countenance requests from plebs like me. Actually, I do feel legitimately guilty for having got this, since I requested because I wanted it, not because I thought I had any right to receive. And the imposter syndrome was so severe I thought about apologetically returning it but, well, I didn’t. Anyway, ARC received when it probably shouldn’t have been. Will buy on release** Honestly, I think this is a fucking masterpie **Sneakily obtained on NG from the UK publisher since the US publisher doesn’t countenance requests from plebs like me. Actually, I do feel legitimately guilty for having got this, since I requested because I wanted it, not because I thought I had any right to receive. And the imposter syndrome was so severe I thought about apologetically returning it but, well, I didn’t. Anyway, ARC received when it probably shouldn’t have been. Will buy on release** Honestly, I think this is a fucking masterpiece. There’s a rawness to it, a conviction and a fearlessness that is absolutely breath-taking. As well as a love story, it’s a story about love: love for oneself alongside love for others, and its capacity to do inestimable harm, as well as to protect, heal and liberate. The Heart Principle is devastating. And yet so filled with the promise of hope that it made me go ugly-cry in the shower. Ahem. Anyway. Our heroine, Anna, is a violinist who—having obtained some unexpected success—is in creative crisis. Obsessed with an idea of unobtainable perfection, she can get only get partway through a piece of music before the voices in her head, insisting she is flawed and unworthy, force her back to the beginning. In the midst of this emotional crisis, her (clearly rubbish) boyfriend abruptly decides they need a period of time to “see other people” before committing to each other, confident that she’ll patiently wait for him, while he gets to fuck around. Anna’s therapist, meanwhile, suspecting that Anna might have ASD, confronts her about her “masking” – a costly social survival strategy for people with ASD that involves mimicking neurotypical behaviours in the hope of gaining social acceptance. In an effort to practice, err, de-masking, Anna decides to have a one-night stand. After all, a stranger’s judgement (and potential rejection) shouldn’t matter to her, right? Enter Quan, Michael’s lovely and very, very attractive cousin from The Kiss Quotient, who also needs to re-enter the dating pool, having recently physically (though not necessarily emotionally) recovered from surgery to combat testicular cancer. As you can tell from just the summary, there’s a lot going on this book, and a lot for the heroine and the hero to overcome, including the illness and death of Anna’s father, and her relationship with her family, who have always made her feel like capitulation on every front is her only hope for acceptance from them. It is far from an easy journey—the late-middle section where Anna, in the grip of autistic burnout, is forced to care for her father who just wants to die with what is left of his dignity is profoundly harrowing—but there is at the same time something courageous and even kind of reassuring in such a frank and unflinching approach to both the reality of trauma and the possibility of rescue and self-rescue. The Heart Principle is simply this: that it doesn’t matter how badly you fuck up, or how difficult the present feels, you always deserve to go on. To try. To hope for better. You don’t have to go back to the beginning. Or condemn yourself to nothing but blank pages. As someone who has loved and grieved, who has craved acceptance that will never come, who still struggles with art, and for that matter self-love, the book got me in some really vulnerable and personal places. I don’t have anything explicitly in common with any of the characters, but I felt understood and spoken to regardless. That’s … that’s a really special gift for a book written by a stranger to give you. Something else that struck me as kind of remarkable was the way that the book managed to weave all its very complex themes into a coherent whole, each of the various narrative elements—love, family, desire, art, identity—serving to reflect upon the others. It’s primarily Anna’s story (although I will say Quan is a wonderful love interest and their romance develops beautifully) but I was fascinated by the way Anna’s vulnerability and Quan’s vulnerability spring from the same toxic well of social expectation. Anna has spent her whole life trying to conceal her true self. Quan no longer feels certain of his masculinity because of his surgery. Together, they’re able to let themselves believe that identity is who you are, not how the world sees you or how other people judge you. And watching them find acceptance for themselves through acceptance of each other is incredibly moving. On a lighter note: the sexing is lovely too. Communication, consent-focused, non-heteronormative. I love heroines who are able to articulate and manifest specific desires, and heroes who are committed to supporting those desires. I feel there needs to be more of this in the genre in general: sex as something broad and individualistic, not just this one thing that starts with kissing, moves to some boob squeezing, and ends in PIV. I also love the way that Helen Hoang tends to tease apart gendered tropes in her work. There’s a spectacular heroine grovel + very personal grand gesture in this book. Which, needless to say, I was very very here for. If I had to complain about anything, and honestly I’m not super minded to, I could have done with the final 10% of the book rushing past a little less quickly. With Anna finally able to confront her family, prioritise herself and re-unite with Quan, there’s a lot of collapse/recovery/recover-more ground glossed over very quickly. Obviously recovery is always a slow and, frankly, dull process but I think, by that point, I was sufficiently emotionally invested in Anna herself that I wanted to spend a little longer with her, especially as she put herself back together. But. Eh. That is a nit on a nit of a nitpick. I loved this book. Deeply and sincerely, and with genuine gratitude for its existence. If you do pick it up: trigger warnings for … oh dear me. Familial emotional abuse, gaslighting, death of a parent, non-consensual medical care given to a patient, detailed medical treatment, neuronormativity, creative and autistic burnout, non-physical self-harm. As ever, take care of yourself first. Before I wrap this review, I guess I also want to take a moment to check out the elephant in this room we’re all in. And, listen, it’s not my place to make pronouncements about what the romance genre is or should be. As long as I’ve been writing I’ve been told, explicitly and implicitly, romance is for straight white cis middle class American women and anyone else is here on sufferance. And that’s … that’s what it is. So I’m not positioning myself as any kind of authority or making claims that it isn't my place to make. But, like, the elephant? There’s an elephant over there. The elephant being, is this book a genre romance. And the thing is, the question of what a genre romance is has been growing increasingly complicated with the rise of … well—this is another elephant, by the way—marginalised voices. Do not, however, mistake me here: I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS argue against the central tenet of romance being the HEA/HFN. That is, and should be, indisputable. I just think what HEA/HFN looks like becomes, uh, complicated when you assume it’s this one thing that’s the same for everyone. Much like genre depictions of sex, now I come to think about it. The slightly broader definition of romance is: central love story, optimistic ending. And, obviously, those are subjective criteria. If you hate the hero, and think he’s a dick, it doesn’t matter if the protagonist gets their HEA with him: that’s not going to read as an optimistic ending to you, it’s going to read as someone making a terrible mistake. Similarly, ‘central’ is always going to be open to debate: basically there are and have always been dual protagonist romances (where each character gets a similar amount of POV and their own arc) and sole protagonist romances where the love interest may or may get their own arc, or POV sections, but exists more to support the arc of the protagonist. In both cases, the love story is still ‘central’ – it’s just presented differently. As far as I’m concerned, The Heart Principle is a romance because it ends on an HEA/HFN, the love story is central (the narrative could not exist without it, and even when Quan isn’t on page, his presence is felt) and the heroine ends the book in a better place than she started it. Thus the ending is hopeful and optimistic. Where it becomes difficult, I think, is that the ending of The Heart Principle, like the narrative itself is complicated. It is not perfect. Anna is still estranged from her sister. She is tentatively putting her career back together in ways that feel healthy and meaningful, but she’s not a smash hit. Quan is still a survivor of testicular cancer and will not be able to have biological children. Anna’s father is still, y’know, dead. And her relationship with her family may always be strained – because that is, honestly, a reality for many marginalised people existing in the world as it currently is. She's always going to be someone with ASD and that's going to impact her life in various ways, as are the years she spent trying to re-create herself in the image her family demanded. But, to me, that doesn't mean it's not a HEA/HFN. Trauma and damage--the compromises of reality--do not and should not negate happiness. The HEA of a character with ASD and an extremely negative relationship with her family shouldn't be deemed less H or less EA than the HEA of a character without ASD whose family are super lovely. To be honest, it troubles me that we are so eager to declare the HEA/HFN’s of marginalised characters (and those presented by marginalised writers) invalid or inadequate simply because they do not reinforce the expected paradigms of non-marginalised people. Do we deserve less happiness, less joy, because we had to struggle more? Because our lives are less perfect? And may not look like yours? And, yes, we can shrug and shunt such romances into the “women’s fiction” category, claiming that they aren’t a “proper” HEA/HFN on the basis that social compromise, for all that it’s a reality for most marginalised people, means the ending isn’t “happy enough” by non-marginalised standards. Except doesn’t that just continue to send the message that a genre romance is not, in fact, any book with a central love story and an optimistic ending, but rather a book that reflects that most normative ideals of what happiness and love look like. Instead of embracing diverse writers and diverse stories. And books like The Heart Principle which, from my undeniably subjective perspective, only enrich the genre. Addendum: I should also clarify that I'm not taking issue with anyone for whom this book did not work, who did not find the relationship between Anna and Quan sufficiently central to the story for their personal preferences for a genre romance. That's totally cool. We all get to think whatever we like about books on an individual basis. I think it's the broader discourse around what genre romance should look like that continues to trouble me, not least because questions regarding whether a book is a romance or not, or whether the HEA/HFN meets implied criteria not covered by the broad definition of romance (central love story, optimistic ending) tends to focus almost exclusively on the work of marginalised authors. That, to me, is worth interrogating.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    5 stars! I loved it! I cried! Helen Hoang's best to date! It's been a long wait for Quan's book, but it was worth it. I already love all of Hoang's characters, however this book felt so incredibly personal and so heart-filled, it go to be my favorite of hers. After 5 years together, Anna's boyfriend suggests that they open up their relationship, so that they know they are not missing out on anything before they decide on the marriage. As he proceeds to immediately hook up with other people, Anna d 5 stars! I loved it! I cried! Helen Hoang's best to date! It's been a long wait for Quan's book, but it was worth it. I already love all of Hoang's characters, however this book felt so incredibly personal and so heart-filled, it go to be my favorite of hers. After 5 years together, Anna's boyfriend suggests that they open up their relationship, so that they know they are not missing out on anything before they decide on the marriage. As he proceeds to immediately hook up with other people, Anna decides that she should have a one-night stand of her own too. On the other hand, after 2 years filled with health issues, Quan is considering getting back in the game and wants to start with an easy hookup. Anna and Quan are matched on the same dating app, and voila. However, their attempts at a casual hookup don't work. Both of them have their own struggles. They try once, twice, three times. Smutty things happen, but there are complications. When does this, whatever this is, become a real relationship? I love these people. I love their deep human connection. Anna and Quan are just so, so nice, so vulnerable and open. It has to be said, I am glad the era of "a bad boy" is over. Nice and kind and caring is what's sexy now. But besides this hot and sweet romance, The Heart Principle is much more. There is a conversation about diagnosing autism in women, learning to advocate for one's needs, there is a recovery after serious health scares and the psychological burden of caring for terminally sick. It's not a light, easy book. But it's so full of heart. No wonder, it is based on Helen Hoang's personal experience. I've said it about Helen's previous two books, and I'll say it again about The Heart Principle. Read it. You'll love it. ______ So I've noticed that the plot summary is totally different from what it was two years ago, but no less enticing. When are ARCs going to be available? Because I am dying for some Quan [email protected]@. ______ Oh yes, it's Quan! I sure hope this info is the real thing. I love Sabrina. This is Quan’s book. Helen Hoang defines it as a “kind of a cross between a gender-swapped Sabrina and Say Anything”

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey (munnyreads)

    I’ll write an actual review when I’m not in the middle of the literal Grand Canyon, but I loved this. ALSO THE GRAND CANYON WAS MENTIONED IN THIS BOOK WHILE I WAS READING IT IN THE GRAND CANYON. NOT SUPER RELEVANT, BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS NEAT.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    So i'm just supposed to sit here and accept the fact that i dont have a Quan? Cruel 😪 review to come ___ Nobody deserves their own story like Quan does. ________ My reviews for: Book 1 - The Kiss Quotient Book 2 - The Bride Test So i'm just supposed to sit here and accept the fact that i dont have a Quan? Cruel 😪 review to come ___ Nobody deserves their own story like Quan does. ________ My reviews for: Book 1 - The Kiss Quotient Book 2 - The Bride Test

  18. 4 out of 5

    JenReadsRomance

    I have a lot of very complicated feelings about this book, and over the past week, I've slowly but surely been able to verbalize more about those feelings below. Please note: if you're the type of reader who needs content warnings, you should find someone who has made that list and check it carefully. ALSO, I will say this: I don't know who this woman is on the cover, but it's not Anna Sun, and for whatever reason, it just makes me so mad. I honestly kind of can't get over the fact that Helen Hoa I have a lot of very complicated feelings about this book, and over the past week, I've slowly but surely been able to verbalize more about those feelings below. Please note: if you're the type of reader who needs content warnings, you should find someone who has made that list and check it carefully. ALSO, I will say this: I don't know who this woman is on the cover, but it's not Anna Sun, and for whatever reason, it just makes me so mad. I honestly kind of can't get over the fact that Helen Hoang clearly re-wrote the entire fucking text after this cover reveal and they just slapped it on the final product anyways. In other ways, I guess it's fine, because the whole book is kind of an epic bait and switch. (view spoiler)[ When I say it's a bait and switch, here's why. The book is divided into 3 parts: Part 1, which is the first half, is a romance. Part 2 is a memoir [per the afterward] of the burdens of caregiving and lasts from 50-90%. Quan basically disappears from this part except for one weekend when they are together. When he is on page as a narrator, he has his own concerns and worries. This is months of time, by the way. These 2 parts already don't really go together as a romance, but I really think the failure of the book--regardless of whether you are reading it as a romance, or WF, or LitFic, or memoir is Part 3. That last 10 percent is pretty unforgivable in terms of storytelling, to my mind. It puts some really hard things on page and then just glosses right past them, I think in an effort to revive the romance and deliver the HEA, but in a way that is likely to leave readers with a whole lot more questions than answers. Part 3 completely undermines the theme of part 2 (the burden of caregiving), because Anna is essentially shut down for an entire year, and although we are given hints that Quan takes care of her, his perspective of that time is absent. I understand and even appreciate the urge for the book to wrap up with a, "with time, things eventually get better." message, but it just felt like...**a summary** of what happened after Anna's Dad died rather than really being the story of what happened after. It's not just unsatisfying, but it's also deeply unsettling, to have a character we have come to care about to be left in that state and be told "oh this is a romance so it's okay." Yes, romance can put hard things on page and readers will go along because we know they will get through them. But that last 10% just continued to heap hard things on page. Anna suffers through suicidal ideation at the 95% mark, which is introduced and dismissed in three paragraphs. This was Anna's journey as a character, but forcing a romance arc onto this story did it a grave disservice. I am honestly not sure who the readers are for this book. The people who need part 2 might have a hard time getting past part 1; and the people who make it past part 2 might need more than they get in part 3. YMMV. (hide spoiler)] PLEASE do your research. I keep coming back and working re-working what I've been saying here. And ultimately, my two-star rating is based on how it is going to be marketed and sold: as a romance. [if it is marketed and sold as a "rom-com", I will probably lose my shit, btw]. Did this book move me? yes. Did I feel deeply for Anna and her struggles to be her most authentic self with her family? yes. Did I think it was a really brave portrayal of how hard it is to be a caretaker for a dying family member? also yes. Did I feel that Quan and Anna's romance was the central part of the plot? not even close. I use these three questions a lot when reviewing: 1) what it the work trying to achieve? 2) does it achieve it? 3) was it worth achieving? And for this book, here are my answers: 1) I don't know, and I don't think the book does either. 2) No, because of #1 3) If the book is about the perils of caretaking, then yes it is worth achieving. I can only hope the people who need it find what solace they can in this partial and incomplete exploration of those difficulties.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading

    #1 The Kiss Quotient — 3.25 stars #2 The Bride Test — 2.5 stars #3 The Heart Principle — 2.25 stars © 1. this was A W F U L . 😭 2. reading this was like opening a can of worms, and it left you traumatized. 3. when people say this is NOT a lighthearted romance, theyre entirely off base. first of all, i thought it meant this was the kind of heavy romance that would make me cry in blissful agony, but i didnt even shed a tear because i was too busy feeling ANGER and FRUSTRATION. 4. second of all, this I #1 The Kiss Quotient — 3.25 stars #2 The Bride Test — 2.5 stars #3 The Heart Principle — 2.25 stars © 1. this was A W F U L . 😭 2. reading this was like opening a can of worms, and it left you traumatized. 3. when people say this is NOT a lighthearted romance, theyre entirely off base. first of all, i thought it meant this was the kind of heavy romance that would make me cry in blissful agony, but i didnt even shed a tear because i was too busy feeling ANGER and FRUSTRATION. 4. second of all, this ISNT a romance. those who say it is, y’all can kiss my ass! 🤡 5. this is a diary of a personal tragedy. the story of Anna Sun who grew up to be a people pleaser, her struggle to say the word NO and stand up for herself, as well as her journey to finding out about her autism diagnosis, to self-acceptance, and to self-love. except, the last two are contrived and happen so quickly. 6. theres nothing wrong with THAT. however, to categorize it under romance is a little out of place imo. 🙃 7. the (good & bad) worms: (view spoiler)[7.1. Anna and her (post fame) burnout ➝ i thought this was a rather relatable take on one of the possible consequences of being famous. 7.2. Anna and her blowjobs ➝ this was certainly awkward and uncomfortable especially because Anna didnt like doing it and was only doing it to please her (then) boyfriend. i thought HH was skirting around the issue of consent cause the scene almost seemed rape-y, except it didnt. 7.3. Anna and her dysfunctional family ➝ the amount of gaslighting and constant bullying Anna had to endure from her mom and sister was simply harrowing and outragous. this was the one thing i didnt like the most about this book since it played such a huge part in the story. 7.4. Anna and her sick father ➝ for all her claim of feeling empathetic with her father’s suffering, im so mad that Anna didnt do anything about it. couldnt she just granted his wishes to let him be and die in peace by stopping his medication and doing it behind her mom’s and sister’s back? that sounds cruel, but i wouldve thought seeing herself in him would make her do something. 7.5. Anna and her autism ➝ it still baffles me how little HH’s characters know about autism and why it didnt occur to them that they or someone they knew could be on the spectrum. not to mention, what are the odds that one of the leads in ALL these books are autistic? are you trying to make it a ‘race’ thing? 7.6. Anna and her caregiver depression ➝ i feel like this part wasnt really given the attention that it deserved cause the whole experience was only “told” instead of “shown.” (hide spoiler)] 8. everyone in this book needs therapy, and members of the Sun family should be admitted to a mental institution. (looking at you, Pris!) 9. i was really frustrated with Anna and her helplessness, but i truly ABHORRED her SISTER Pris-zilla. (take your tough love act somewhere else, and LEAVE ANNA ALONE!!!) she was such a bitch and so nasty with her demands and patronizing remarks. i wish i could put voodoo on her. 👿 10. when HH says this is half memoir, i hope she didnt imply that she was also raised by an ignorant mother and a heartless sister. © 11. WHO IS THIS PERSON ACTING AS QUAN AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THE REAL HIM? i’d known that there was going to be a sick character and it was Anna’s father, but the blurb didnt allude to anything unpleasant going on with Quan. i didnt know he would be having some health/body image issue (view spoiler)[(he had testicular cancer and had to chop off one of his balls) (hide spoiler)] of his own. this really threw me off and i didnt like it. 12. Quan’s character was thrown in the back burner, and i didnt get why he had to be “equipped” with the aforementioned storyline if it was never going to be explored. like, dUDE, please ELABORATE! i have questions. his character was also reduced to being the supportive boyfriend which was sweet and all, but cmon he had potential and it was all wasted. 😭 13. the book was so caught up in Anna and her family drama that the romance barely had the chance to flourish. it was cute at the beginning, but it quickly got sideswept during Part II and Part III. as if that wasnt unfair enough, it was also basically just a REPEAT of Michael & Stella’s romance in The Kiss Quotient. only, Quan & Anna’s was set against a backdrop that was ten times depressing. 14. the fact that Michael acted like a brother to Quan more than Khải did had me realising that i shouldve given The Kiss Quotient more credit. 15. the ending was a blatant disservice to the characters and the readers (or maybe just me) who had gone through similar battles to Quan and Anna. it was rushed, and all the “worms” were being shoved under the rug. i feel like HH brought up so many troubling issues, but she didnt tackle them and just glossed right over them by the end. 16. judging from the epilogue, (view spoiler)[i assumed Anna repaired her relationship with her mom. but the sister wasnt mentioned (hide spoiler)] , and im curious. © 17. theres an Author’s Note at the end of this book that *justifies* why this book is the way it is, which makes me feel mean and insensitive for not appreciating the story more, but i couldnt lie and say that the execution didnt leave a bitter taste in my mouth. 💔 18. i wouldnt recommend this if youre currently going through a rough time and is looking for an escape. this book wont give you one. 19. if this book gets nominated for Best Romance in this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards, i think im going to jump myself off a cliff. 20. TW: creative burnout, cancer, sterility, toxic familial relationship, ableism, non-consensual medical care given to a patient, death of a parent, caregiver depression, suicidal thoughts. (read as an audiobook)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    I loved this book but holy shit, was this book sad. I was not expecting this book to be so incredibly sad and heavy and depressing, especially because the first two books in the series are pretty light-hearted and steamy and fun. So just a warning before you read it: this book is a lot, and it will probably make you cry a lot, and I wish I had known that going in because I was just wanting something light and fun and this book hurt to read. I loved the romance between Anna and Quan, it was beaut I loved this book but holy shit, was this book sad. I was not expecting this book to be so incredibly sad and heavy and depressing, especially because the first two books in the series are pretty light-hearted and steamy and fun. So just a warning before you read it: this book is a lot, and it will probably make you cry a lot, and I wish I had known that going in because I was just wanting something light and fun and this book hurt to read. I loved the romance between Anna and Quan, it was beautiful and it felt so real. However, I don’t think the romance is the main aspect of the story, this is very much a coming of age story for Anna, it’s about her finding her voice, learning things about herself, and dealing with real tragedy. I was already bawling my eyes out at the end and then I read the authors note and I cried even more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    preoccupiedbybooks

    An intense, emotional and personal story/part memoir Firstly I'd like to announce that even though I loved this, it wasn't the rom-com I was expecting after the first two books in the series. The synopsis on GR is also incorrect, as the book was rewritten and vastly changed direction. Told in 1st person unlike The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test, I would say this was more Anna's book that Quan's. Whilst Quan was amazing and dreamy in this, and had his own chapters, I felt that his journey and dem An intense, emotional and personal story/part memoir Firstly I'd like to announce that even though I loved this, it wasn't the rom-com I was expecting after the first two books in the series. The synopsis on GR is also incorrect, as the book was rewritten and vastly changed direction. Told in 1st person unlike The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test, I would say this was more Anna's book that Quan's. Whilst Quan was amazing and dreamy in this, and had his own chapters, I felt that his journey and demons took a backseat to Anna's one. The Heart Principle was clearly a personal, powerful and sometimes heartbreaking look at adult Autism diagnosis in women, masking, mental health, caregiving for a family member and the stress of living up to both family and society's expectations. It was not what I expected at all! Some parts about Anna and her family were extremely hard to read. Some parts almost had me tearing my hair out in frustration. Some parts made me cry and want to reach out to hug both Anna and Quan. It was a brave book to write, and it upsets me greatly that Helen Hoang has suffered as Anna did. But, it was also a raw and inspirational story. A hopeful story. Anna overcame so much and grew as a person. As gutwrenching as some of the book was, other parts focused on love and acceptance. Romance was present, and I loved it, but it definitely wasn't the central theme. Where we did get romance, Anna and Quan were just too sweet together! The care and vulnerability that they both showed was both cute and sexy. They had great chemistry! And I loved the consent and communication! Quan was such a great guy, so patient, understanding and kind! ❤️ Anna showed great courage with Quan, and their relationship was heartwarming. I just wanted more of Quan's journey since the last books. He had been through some awful things, but it was off page. I wanted more of him. I cared about both characters immensely, and wanted the best for both of them. They were just such nice people. I desperately wanted Anna to be able to be herself, and not who she thought others wanted her to be! I devoured this book, feeling all sorts of emotions, but did feel a bit disappointed with the ending. It felt a bit rushed, and glossed over important things in order to get to the happy ending. However, I'm so glad I read this. The message of being kind to yourself and to others, listening if others ask for help, and asking for help if you need it, are so important. The message of love and hope in times of darkness struck a chord in me. I do recommend this, but just be aware that it feels different from the other books in the series, and that there are multiple trigger warnings, including for bullying, gas lighting, death of a loved one, suicidal thoughts, burn out and a toxic family. I urge you to read the author's note at the end, which explains much. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Many thanks to Netgalley UK and Atlantic books for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Can you all believe this cover reveal just saved 2019? 1.) The Kiss Quotient ★★★★★ 2.) The Bride Test ★★★★ Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch Can you all believe this cover reveal just saved 2019? 1.) The Kiss Quotient ★★★★★ 2.) The Bride Test ★★★★ Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

  23. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    *chanting* We! Want! Quan! We! Want! Quan! update, june 3, 2021: *chanting* We! Got! Quan! We! Got! Quan! ♥ Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Warda

    Pre-reading Reactions! WE HAVE A TITLE! And IT’S OFFICIALLY QUAN’S BOOK! Dead. ——————————— Do I even need to say that this book needs to be about Quan? No. But I will add my voice to the masses SO DEAR GOD PLEASE LET THIS BE ABOUT QUAN!

  25. 4 out of 5

    jaime ⭐️

    how did i have no idea they're doing a book about quan?? i am HYPE youtube ❀ twitter ❀ instagram how did i have no idea they're doing a book about quan?? i am HYPE youtube ❀ twitter ❀ instagram

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Liese

    Thank you to Berkley Romance, NetGalley & Helen Hoang for the advance review copy—all opinions are my own!    It’s been a long time since I read something so powerfully real & searingly emotional. THE HEART PRINCIPLE touched me deeply as an autistic & creative person, as a lover of hard won happy endings & honest portrayals of the work of love both for ourselves & the ones we give our hearts to.    This story is, by Helen’s own words in her author note, part memoir & very bravely excavates the menta Thank you to Berkley Romance, NetGalley & Helen Hoang for the advance review copy—all opinions are my own!    It’s been a long time since I read something so powerfully real & searingly emotional. THE HEART PRINCIPLE touched me deeply as an autistic & creative person, as a lover of hard won happy endings & honest portrayals of the work of love both for ourselves & the ones we give our hearts to.    This story is, by Helen’s own words in her author note, part memoir & very bravely excavates the mental health impact we can experience as creators put under the microscope of expectation & critique. When we meet her, Anna’s life is spiraling. She’s got a steady boyfriend who now wants an open relationship, a strained family dynamic, compulsions impacting her ability to keep her career afloat, & (soon to be diagnosed autistic) burnout threatening her well-being.     Enter Quan, who she connects with when she decides that if her boyfriend’s going to do this open relationship thing, she is, too. They match on a dating app & what follows is sweetly realistic, adorkable chemistry that’s equal parts tender, vulnerable, & sexy. I loved these two—Anna’s earnest desire to connect with Quan & to share intimacy; Quan’s patience with the time Anna needs to do that, his willingness to share his own vulnerability while making space for hers, & his support for Anna when her father becomes seriously ill & dependent on home care.    This story portrays a winding road to happily-ever-after that moved me to my core. Once again, Helen has given the romance genre a gift in a rare story that permits us to have dark days, weeks, months, years, & be unconditionally worthy of love. THE HEART PRINCIPLE start to finish is rooted in the belief that love belongs & triumphs in times of struggle, pain, & grief. Love is patient with us, love knows us. Love loves us for exactly who we are. If that isn’t the definition of romance, I don’t know what is. Content Notes: anxiety, depression, panic attacks, masking autism, ableism, cancer (past, not on page), suicidal ideation, toxic family, parental illness that renders them dependent on home care, death of parent, caretaking, autistic & caretaking burnout.

  27. 4 out of 5

    myo (myonna reads)

    when you’re most anticipated release becomes your most disappointing book of the year 😅 this was one of my anticipated releases of the year and i’m honestly so sad because i was disappointed by it. Quan was my favorite character in the trilogy and for his book to be my least favorite book hurts. i really don’t care for online dating as a romance trope because why would i read about that when i can just go experience it myself? i just expected something more fun and i did not get that. but also the when you’re most anticipated release becomes your most disappointing book of the year 😅 this was one of my anticipated releases of the year and i’m honestly so sad because i was disappointed by it. Quan was my favorite character in the trilogy and for his book to be my least favorite book hurts. i really don’t care for online dating as a romance trope because why would i read about that when i can just go experience it myself? i just expected something more fun and i did not get that. but also the book in general just didn’t feel like the rest of the book? i know that the author based the main character, anna, struggles on her own but it just didn’t seem fitting for the book and kind of made the tone of the series awkward. the plotline was heavily focused on mental health and overbearing family’s, i don’t mind that but when i go into a romance i kind of.. you know, expect the main plot to be romance.

  28. 5 out of 5

    elena

    1) my boy quan finally gonna get his cheeks clapped 2) i can't believe i have to wait until 2021 to read about quan getting his cheeks clapped 1) my boy quan finally gonna get his cheeks clapped 2) i can't believe i have to wait until 2021 to read about quan getting his cheeks clapped

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    [12/30/19] - WHOA WHOA WHOA! TIME THE FORK OUT! It's coming out in 2021??? I CAN'T WAIT THAT LONNNNNNNNNGGGG ************ [9/12/19] - I WAS RIGHTTTTTTTT!!!!! YESSSSSS! oh and that cover is pretty cool too ************ [7/24/19] - I bet the cover will be red ************ Quan is getting a whole book but he deserves two | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram [12/30/19] - WHOA WHOA WHOA! TIME THE FORK OUT! It's coming out in 2021??? I CAN'T WAIT THAT LONNNNNNNNNGGGG ************ [9/12/19] - I WAS RIGHTTTTTTTT!!!!! YESSSSSS! oh and that cover is pretty cool too ************ [7/24/19] - I bet the cover will be red ************ Quan is getting a whole book but he deserves two | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  30. 4 out of 5

    Llakshmi

    I don’t think I liked this. For one, it’s not the lighthearted, fun filled, sweet romance that I wanted. I’m not even completely sure that I could categorise this as romance. Don’t get me wrong, I read this book in one sitting and whilst I enjoyed the book, I didn’t necessarily like it. Does that make sense? 🤔 I adored both The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test. They too had hard hitting scenes dealing with the autism spectrum but I would at least call them romances. I wasn’t ready for the amount I don’t think I liked this. For one, it’s not the lighthearted, fun filled, sweet romance that I wanted. I’m not even completely sure that I could categorise this as romance. Don’t get me wrong, I read this book in one sitting and whilst I enjoyed the book, I didn’t necessarily like it. Does that make sense? 🤔 I adored both The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test. They too had hard hitting scenes dealing with the autism spectrum but I would at least call them romances. I wasn’t ready for the amount of pain in this addition. Anna and Quan meet on a dating app: After Anna’s boyfriend of 5 years decides he wants an open relationship before they get married, Anna decides to have a one-night stand. Quan decides to get back on the dating/one night stand scene after a surgery and they both become v close in short time. Quan was very patient and tender with Anna, letting her set the pace and time. It was very swoon-worthy honestly and that’s probably the only thing I liked about this book. “She’s fallen asleep. I’d bet my Ducati that she doesn’t fall asleep with just anybody. But she did with me. That means something.” About 12 chapters in and Anna’s therapist tells her that she thinks Anna might be Autistic and I’m immediately wondering how she’s just figuring out that she might be autistic, especially from the authors vivid descriptions of Anna’s thoughts. But that’s just me ig. “I see, and for the first time in my adult life, I don’t care that I’m making a scene. I haven’t hurt anyone. I shouldn’t be ashamed. I shouldn’t need to apologize. This is me.” A while later, Anna gets a call that tells her that her dad had a stroke and he’s in critical condition. And she is to go home and take care of him along with her sister. We immediately see the almost toxic relationship Anna has with her sister and how Anna is definitely a people pleaser with the different masks she wear for everyone. “For the rest of the night, I don’t speak. I keep my anger and frustration and hurt inside where it belongs. No one notices. That’s how it’s supposed to be.” Her burnouts and the mental pain that she’s dealing with is not supported by her family and I genuinely felt frustrated for and with her for not speaking up. I don’t know much about Autism so I was conflicted with my feelings regarding how Anna dealt with many situations. Her mom and sister were ignorant and chose not to believe that she’s autistic , saying that she’s not “disabled”. They constantly spoke over her and made decisions concerning her without permission and fuck i wanted to smother someone with a pillow. “I’m different from you,” I tell Priscilla. “Are you talking about your ‘diagnosis’?” she asks sarcastically, putting finger quotes around the word diagnosis. “I don’t know if that has anything to do with this. Maybe it does. But you have to stop expecting me to be the same as you.” Priscilla rolls her eyes. “Trust me. I don’t expect that.” “Then why are you always judging me and pressuring me to change? Why can’t you accept me the way I am?” “That’s not how family works,” she says through her teeth. “I get to judge you and pressure you because I want what’s best for you.” They were also very inconsiderate with Quan and his relationship with Anna; especially since he has tattoos and a motorcycle 🏍 but I expected that. Then things went downhill again when Anna’s ex appeared and she went along with the pretence that nothing changed and they’re together without sticking up for Quan. “Just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean we need to throw it away” Them getting back together was a good moment filled with trust and honest communication which I appreciated but I spent over 70-80% of the book filled with a mix of tenderness and frustration and that’s not a good combination. In the end, I was emotionally exhausted and tired. I was not expecting this, there’s a lot of heavy content in this book surrounding Anna and her mental illness and how she feels about herself now that she knows she’s autistic and it’s something that I wished i was aware of before I jumped into this book especially since I expected more towards the romance aspect. We also have moments where Anna has to make hard decisions concerning her dad and whether he should continue suffering through his treatment. There was also little to no humor so I couldn’t find myself smiling at all. I did love Anna and Quan as a couple and I loooved the Cameos and Micheal, Stella and Khai so much. We also got a scene where Anna and her mom find middle ground which was sweet but overall this was a disappointment for me. And I’m sad😭

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