Sometimes a romance is just that – an enjoyable and satisfying love story quickly forgotten. Helen Hoang’s The Heart Principle is something more; an unsparing look at what it feels like to be different and unseen by the people who should love you the most.
The Heart Principle tells the story of Anna, an “accidentally internet famous” violinist with a stalled career brought about by a crippling inability to play through to the end of any piece. Her family, already disapproving of her music career, blame her difficulties on laziness and weakness.
Things get worse when Anna’s boyfriend Julian announces he wants an open relationship. Encouraged by her friends, Anna gets back on dating apps with the goal of a revenge one-night-stand. Although she will not find a one-and-done relationship, she does meet Quan, the anti-Julian, a tattooed, motorcycle-riding hunk, quirky in all the right ways.
Not long into Quan and Anna’s newfound friendship, Anna’s father suffers a devastating stroke, requiring Anna to drop everything and join her family in his round-the-clock care.
Eventually, Anna will have to make a choice; her well-being or the approval of her family. Hoang’s portrayal of Anna is so complete that I read the last third of this beautiful novel with my heart pounding in my chest.
I’m not alone in my Quan & Anna obsession, check out this awesome fan art @hhoangwrites.
p.s. although this is the 3rd book in a trilogy, each reads well as a stand-alone
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