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 herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that 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.
I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 Stars
There is something so raw, emotional and beautiful about this book that makes it really hard for me to put my thoughts into words. Calling The Heart Principle a romance novel feels too small. This was so much more than a love story between Anna and Quan. Don’t get me wrong, I loved their story and think everything about it was absolutely perfect for them. What I mean is that this isn’t just their love story, it is so much more, and I genuinely feel like my review won’t do them justice.
My recommendation is to read the Author’s Note about Anna’s story to better understand it as a whole. This book is told in first person, unlike Helen Hoang’s first two books, which were both told in third person. She explains in the Author’s Note that the reason for that is her deep connection to Anna’s character, and you can feel it. I cried for at least the last twenty percent of this book and teared up many many more times throughout the other eighty percent.
While this is a more emotional book, in my opinion, it still holds all of Helen Hoang’s humor and her writing pulled me right into the story, as it always does. Finally getting Quan’s story and seeing glimpses of Michael, Stella, and even Khai made me insanely happy as well.
After three books, all of which I’ve loved and rated five stars, I think it is safe to assume that there will never be a Helen Hoang book that doesn’t absolutely blow me away.