The Heart Principle Book Review
The Heart Principle demonstrates the importance of learning to love, accept and be confident in who you are. The journey to self-acceptance is hardly ever an easy one. It is refreshing to read a book that wholeheartedly acknowledges this.
Review by Steph Huddleston
Author: Helen Hoang
Publication date: 31st August 2021
Bestselling author of The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang finishes out her romance trilogy with The Heart Principle.
Anna is a professional violinist struggling to come to terms with the fame and pressure resulting from a viral YouTube video. But she’s caught in a seemingly neverending loop, burned out from trying to recreate that level of success. When her long-term boyfriend suggests they try an open relationship, she’s hurt and angry. Enough to try anything to get her out of the rut her life has become. Why should he be the only one having casual sex with strangers? Anna commits to breaking out of her comfort zone at the urging of her friends.
Enter Quan Diep, tattooed, motorcycle riding, CEO of fashion brand he runs with his cousin. Struggling to regain his confidence after a recent health battle, Quan hopes a one-night stand will help to make him feel like the man he used to be. But the pair don’t get exactly what they bargained for. As Anna and Quan’s repeated attempts for one-night stands with each other fail they discover freedom in each others acceptance.
But when Anna has to step into a new role in her family, the pressure and expectations of others threaten to destroy her once again. Will she be able to finally silence the voices around her, and fight for what she truly wants?
What we thought of The Heart Principle
This book is written in the first person (I, my), as opposed to the first two books which were written in the third person (She, they, he). This shift in perspective makes The Heart Principle more personal in tone than the previous two books in the series. Understandable, given how Hoang has admitted that The Heart Principle is an #ownvoices story. It covers much of her own journey of coming to terms with her diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As well as the emotional trauma that can come from caring for an ill loved one.
The emotional depth of The Heart Principle goes beyond what has previously been seen from Hoang. It’s a triumph and while emotionally painful at times to read, deeply satisfying.
Fans of Hoang’s previous two books, The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test will be thrilled to know that the long wait to read Quan’s story is worth it. The romance within the book is thrilling, amusing and sensitive. The same level of spice as in the previous two books is present, with open door sex scenes (there’s no fade to black here).
Both Anna and Quan demonstrate remarkable understanding and acceptance for each other. Their quirky relationship moments and Hoang’s prose make them feel realistic and they are easy characters to enjoy.
The Heart Principle demonstrates the importance of learning to love, accept and be confident in who you are. The journey to self-acceptance is hardly ever an easy one. It is refreshing to read a book that wholeheartedly acknowledges this. Hoang unpacks a range of difficult topics along the way such as burnout, family acceptance and suicidal ideation. Details are provided for where readers can get help if they identify with topics raised in the book.
Our review would be remiss if we did not include these in our review. This book beautifully illustrates how we all matter and deserve help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Australia: 13 11 14
New Zealand: 0800 543 345
After such a fantastic majority of the book, the resolution at the end between the romantic parties does in some ways feel too swift. But enough messiness remains that the end feels satisfying as a whole, and acknowledges that not all things in life are easy fixes.
The Heart Principle is perfect for
Fans of Talia Hibbert, Sally Thorne, and Mhairi McFarlane. If you’re seeking a swoon-worthy heartfelt romance, escape into this book for a few hours.
It’s a little sad to see The Kiss Quotient series wrapped up. We’ll miss all these characters! But we are looking forward to seeing what’s next from Hoang.
This book contains:
Burned out violinists, hunky tattooed men, #ownvoices representation of ASD, caregiver burnout, suicidal ideation.