Book Review: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

About the Book:

Title: The Heart Principle

Author: Helen Hoang

Series: The Kiss Quotient #3

Page Length: 339

Publication Date: Aug. 31, 2021

Publisher: Berkley

Synopsis: A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this new New York Times bestselling romance by Helen Hoang.

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. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Book Depository

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My Review:

Leslie @ Books Are the New Black and I buddy read The Heart Principle this week, and it was so much fun! It’s a great story, and I loved the characters and the swoon-worthy romance. There are so many relatable people and relationships and situations, and I found myself connecting to the story in many ways.

Anna is such a fantastic protagonist, and I related to her so hard at the start of the book when she arrives early to an appointment and anxiously worries about entering the office. Her anxiety and need to please others, her inability to make decisions, and her introversion all felt relatable and realistic.  I think that’s one of my favorite things about the story. The characters and the relationships all feel really realistic.  I also really identified with Anna’s difficult sibling relationship and struggles to be heard and accepted within her family, and I so rooted for her to find her voice in a way that worked for her. 

And Quan is the best and officially my new book boyfriend. I adored him!  He is so supportive, patient, and intelligent, and he has as compelling a story as Anna.  He’s the perfect mix of sweet and sexy, and the way he treats Anna is super swoon-worthy.  So are the spicy scenes!  My word! Everyone deserves a Quan in their lives!  Their relationship is so wonderful, and I love how they become friends and watch geeky shows together and just begin to enjoy each other’s company before it develops into something more. It’s not the relationship either of them were looking for, but it is everything they didn’t know they needed.  They develop such a deep connection, and it feels like they really understand each other like no one else does. 

The secondary characters in the book are fleshed out and layered, and though some were difficult to like, they all added depth to the story.  I particularly liked Quan’s best friend and his wife, who were wonderful, loyal friends, and Anna’s friends who knew when to push and when to back off.  Other characters were wholly unsupportive and displayed various levels of change. Again, it felt very realistic. Relationships are complex and difficult and messy, and I thought this book showed that really well.

The last few chapters did feel a bit rushed to me, and I wish we learned more about Anna’s journey. Also, the story delves into several heavier topics, so you might want to check the content warnings before reading the book.  Toxic relationships, illness and death of a loved one, and more could be triggers for some readers.  Overall, I thought it was a fantastic read and one I’d highly recommend.

Final Thought: Leslie and I are both dying to know – What books are you reading, Anna? We need those titles!! lol


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance. Sa-woooon!!!
  • The characters.
  • The relatability.

Favorite Lines:

Tough love is brutally honest and hurts you to help you. Tough love cuts you when you’re already bruised and berates you when you don’t heal faster.

Just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean we need to throw it away.

No one should need a diagnosis in order to be compassionate to themself.

It’s like pricking yourself with a needle. Do it once, and you’re okay. You ignore that it even happened. Prick yourself repeatedly without giving yourself time to heal, and soon you’re injured and bleeding. That’s me. I’m injured and bleeding. But no one can see. Because it’s inside where I hurt.

Want to learn more about The Heart Principle? Check out Leslie’s review HERE!

12 thoughts on “Book Review: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

  1. *SQUEALING* in Quan! Because Quan! Haha, I’ve been so excited to read this one because I loved the glimpses of Quan that we get in the first two books. I’m glad for the heads up that it’s a bit less focused on him and more on Anna, but it still sounds amazing. Anna sounds super relatable and you’ve definitely piqued my curiosity with your ‘final thoughts’! 😂 Great review, Julie!

    1. Oh my gosh – Quan is amazing!! Like new book boyfriend amazing!! I loved him. lol It definitely focuses more on Anna and the story is a bit more serious than I expected, but it’s a really good read. Plus, QUAN!!!! lol

  2. Wonderful review Julie. I just finished this book and loved it. Quan was amazing and would love it if my daughter found her own Quan. Anna was awesome and I loved that she realized she couldn’t live her life for others. Great trilogy.

    1. Thanks, Carla! Quan is my new book boyfriend. lol I adored him, and I found a lot of Anna’s emotional journey to be so relatable. That whole scene at the start of the book where she worries about arriving at an appointment early is completely me! lol

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