Title: The Heart Principle
Series: The Kiss Quotient
By: Helen Hoang
ISBN: 0451490843 (ISBN13: 9780451490841)
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
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 has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family, she takes on a role 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. (Goodreads)
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang is the story of Anna Sun, a violinist who rose to career success as a result of a YouTube video and is now having performance issues. This is also the story of Quan Diep, a survivor who is learning to accept life after cancer.
Anna embarks on finding a suitable “one-night stand” when her long term boyfriend declares that she is “the one” for him but he wants to date other woman to make sure she is “the one”. As the reader gets to know Anna, one realizes just how out of character this truly is for Anna. Her journey quickly progresses as she sets up an on-line profile and then gets pinged by Quan. They quickly develop an on-line rapport.
Quan has decided that it is time to get back into the dating world after his illness. So he creates an on-line profile and is quickly matched with Anna. Quan’s business partner, Michael, encourages him to set up a date quickly. As fate would have it – during the date Anna freaks out and ends up hiding in the bathroom for a wee bit. Just as Quan is going to leave, Anna comes out and they bump into each other. Realizing she is not ready for such an encounter, they actually continue getting to know each other by online communications, text and phone calls. And the relationship grows… and grows…
The romance that developed between Anna and Quan was wonderful, including all the ups and downs of navigating a new relationship!
The story has very sad moments, truly heart and gut-wrenching. Many issues must be worked through – Anna’s relationship with each of the members of her direct family, Anna’s own health diagnosis, and last but not least – her struggles to play the violin to her own exacting standards after becoming an almost instantaneous success due to a YouTube video. Other issues also included Quan’s business woes as well as his acceptance of life after cancer. I found Quan the quintessential boyfriend – he was such a great guy, so patient, understanding and kind! I loved how they communicated and obtained consent at each point in their relationship – making sure each was comfortable with the continued growth of the physical aspect of their relationship.
I really enjoyed the best friends of both Anna and Quan. They were hero’s for standing by their besties through their bad times and helping them to the lighter side of life.
So, you will get moments of a light-hearted romance – even some chuckle worthy moments, but that is not the heart and soul of this book. It is more of a self discovery book for the protagonists. I was very happy that Anna finally found her voice – it truly made for a happy ending in my opinion. You may even shed some tears along this journey called reading The Heart Principle. To me this shows that the writer was able to tap into the reader’s emotions fully. And that she did ☺
If you like rom-coms with lots of depth, quirky (and I mean quirky) but lovable characters, then I suggest picking up The Heart Principle and set some time aside for a delightful, engaging, emotional journey.