Bestselling author Of The Kiss Quotient Series, Helen Hoang Has Came Up With Her Third Book,’ The Heart Principle’.

 
Two days ago, on August 31st, Helen Hoang released her third and presumably the final book in the Kiss Quotient Series, The Heart Principle. When our author released her first book, readers were raving about the characters featured in it. It had gotten a buzz on Book-tube. The side character Quan, in the then kiss quotient book, was someone that people found to be amazing. The author got hundreds of requests for a book dedicated solely to him. And, that wish has finally come true.

The Premise Of The Novel.

The heart principle book review

The Heart Principle follows a book featuring Anna, who is a violinist. She has a routine for everything. Get up, get dressed, have breakfast, practice scales for an hour, and then restart the song that she is trying to perfect. She is always trying to blend in with people. To be what her parents and her older sister want her to be. They want a successful life for her, with a career that is booming and a boyfriend that is perfect to marry. So, For their sake, she puts on a smile, wrinkles her eyes so that it looks genuine(at least that’s what the book she reads suggests), and tries to be enough for her family.

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Did I mention that she went viral on YouTube due to a piece she performed as a solo artist? No? Well, That might also be a reason why she is facing such pressure to be better all the time. The belief that she has to compete with the piece that went viral- Also, The belief that luck was a factor in her success, Does not make things easier. There comes a point where she is analytical of everything she places and is unable to put feelings into her song.
 
Now, adding to that, Julian, her boyfriend of 5 years decides to make their relationship open. His reasoning? he wants to be completely sure about his commitment to her. Yikes! Felling bruised and taking a hit on Anna’s self-esteem, leads her to question whether she wants to keep pleasing people or find her own self. Also, finding comfort when her therapist does not overreact to Anna’s open relationship, leads her to go on a date for a casual hook up.
This is where Quan Diep comes into the picture, Quan has not dated. Or well, Hooked up with anyone in 2 years. Why you might ask? Because his body is not the same. Having gone through surgery and losing confidence in himself due to testicle cancer has shaken him for good. Now, after some push from Michael, He decides to get back to the hookup culture. Downloading the dating app and coming across Anna’s picture was all it took for him to text her.

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Finding him charming, Anna and Quan start texting each other. When their hookup plan fails the first time and the second and the third time, They start getting closer to each other.
Things were fine until they are not. Anna’s father has a stroke, Leading her to take a caregivers role. His boyfriend does not know they are broken up. Her family thinks that Anna and Julian are still together. Well, things are truly chaotic. Quan realizes that he might just want more from Anna. He realizes that he is ready to get back to the dating world.
What follows after is a journey of  Self-love, putting boundaries, acceptance, and finding themselves.

Review On The Heart Principle:-

To start off,  Being someone from Asia, specifically an Indian, I was able to resonate with most of the issues dealt with, within this book. No, I am not on the autism spectrum, but I do understand how the crushing expectations of one’s family can have an impact on their mental health.

The heart principle addresses important topics relating to the autism spectrum. It discusses what masking is. It also talks about how autism looks different in every person. This is discussed in the scene where- ‘Anna tells Priscillia, her sister (who is 15 years older than her )about her diagnosis. Hoping that her sister will finally understand and accept her. on the contrary, Priscilla expresses her disbelief and refuses to accept it. She is not supportive of Anna’s decision to see a therapist. Thinking that Anna is just trying to make excuses for her shortcomings. Thinking that the therapist just wants to make money. And that Anna is being problematic by taking away the struggle of autistic people.

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Anna had felt comfort by finding her diagnosis of low support autism. Hoping desperately that her sister will understand, she tried to defend herself. But Priscilla disapproves of this and hangs up the phone.’ This was sad to see as Anna starts to doubt whether she was actually right.

There was a lot of discussion on how difficult a caregiver’s job can be. When her father falls sick and he can’t take care of himself, his family brings him home and start taking care of him. Anna is expected to give up her choir chair and take care of him alongside her mother and sister. This takes a toll on Anna’s mental health as she tries to stay brave and smile the whole time when all she feels is exhausted. At the end of the day, her family can’t fathom how Anna can be “insensitive”. Feeling burnt out, she knows she can’t do it anymore and returns home.

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Throughout the journey, Anna understands that sometimes it’s better to put up boundaries. You can’t always please everyone. The character development we see in her is phenomenal. The way she understands right from wrong and stands up for herself shows us her courage and bravery.

One of the best characters in this book was of course Quan. Him being extremely supportive and kind, He showed us that men can be vulnerable, they can have insecurities and that is completely okay. This book just upped the bar for how a romance novel should be. It is not problematic and it is just right for readers who have adored her previous books like The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test.

Authors Note:-

Our Author calls this book a half memoir in her author note at the end of The Heart Principle. The novel is fictional. Sure. But there were many things that our author went through which were similar to Anna’s struggle. She talks about how a caregiver’s responsibility can be gruesome and exhausting. And she also talks about how it can take a toll on a person’s wellbeing.

“Anna’s struggle were mine. Her pain was mine. Her shame was mine. And I relieved it every time I sat down to write.”

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