The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

August 30, 2021 Neurodivergence, Romance 0

Greetings Bookworms,

I’m really glad that when I requested this book from NetGalley, it came with something of a disclaimer. While it is, in fact, the third installment of the Helen Hoang series that began with The Kiss Quotient (review) and The Bride Test, The Heart Principle is tonally very different. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This post reflects my honest thoughts and opinions. Obviously.* If you’re expecting a romantic comedy with neurodivergent characters, you may be disappointed. This book is a beautiful, heartfelt romance, but it’s much more serious in tone and scope than the other two. Much of it reflects Hoang’s personal experiences, and I find it incredibly brave that she was able to put all of this into words. It is brilliantly done, but it’s not at all light-hearted. Still, if you read the first two books I’m sure you’ll want to know what becomes of Quan as desperately as I did, so you’re totally going to read The Heart Principle regardless of the tone shift. I just want to let you know what you’re getting into, because this one is much lower on humor and bigger on feelings.

Anna Sun rose to fame thanks to a YouTube video of her virtuoso violin playing going viral. After that success, though, she finds herself completely burned out. She’s mentally fatigued to the point where she can no longer play an entire piece of music without stopping. Then, her absolute trash human of a long-term boyfriend decides that he wants to try an open relationship so he can sow his wild oats before settling down, or whatever. Anna decides to take advantage of the situation and start seeking out meaningless flings. I mean, if HE gets to have an open relationship, why shouldn’t SHE?

Enter Quan Diep. He’s hot, tattooed, and rides a motorcycle. In other words? He’s completely unsuitable boyfriend material, but the perfect candidate for a one-night-stand. Only… The whole one-night-stand thing doesn’t quite work out. So they try again. And again… And suddenly they’re dating. Quan is endlessly empathetic and supportive of Anna, who is grappling with her newly realized autism (obviously, she’s always been autistic, but women often come to diagnosis much later than men. It’s a thing.) Quan has been going through some difficult things himself, so the two sort of lean on each other. But then tragedy strikes, and Anna is thrust into a caregiving role she’s ill-suited for. That, coupled with her general life struggles lead to a whole lot of intense soul-searching for our Anna and Quan being, well, kind of perfect.

Like I told you. This isn’t a happy-go-lucky rom-com, but it is COMPLETELY worth it. Quan is the ultimate romance hero, and Anna is so brave working through the whole giant mess. Nothing is easily or quickly mended, but the journey. The journey will hit you HARD in the feelings. Whew, what a gorgeous book.

If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Links in the post above direct to Amazon, but if you’re interested and in a position to do so, please consider making a purchase from a local independent bookstore. IndieBound and Bookshop make it easy to do just that without having to leave your home!


Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.