The Heart Principle Book Review

The Heart Principle
Author: Helen Hoang
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 31 August, 2021


Synopsis of The Heart Principle


Meet Anna Sun, a violinist who receives fame after her video on YouTube goes viral. But she is unable to reproduce the same perfection in playing the violin and she seems to be stuck in a creator’s block.
When Anna’s boyfriend says he wants to make their relationship open before settling down for good, she is shocked and heartbroken. She is now determined to embark on a string of one- night stands.
There comes Quan, a cancer survivor, who wasn’t the man he was before. His body is still healing and his best friend Michael makes him sign up on a dating app.


Anna and Quan decides to have an one – night stand but it fails. They try the second time, third time, but they keep failing. Meanwhile they start to form a bond and starts having feeling for one another.

My thoughts on The Heart Principle

The synopsis might make it sound like this book is going to be such a cute and steamy rom com. NO. It is not. This book was a lot more serious than I thought it would be. This book was outright stressful and depressing at most of the times.

Firstly, Anna is battling her new diagnosis of Autism, something that she never found out before. While Quan is supportive of her, her sister and mother are utterly discarding her diagnosis and treating her wrongly. This made me angry a lot at her sister and mother. I seriously hated her sister.


Also, this book was majorly about caregiver’s burnout. I don’t want to spoil anything but majority of this book is about Anna taking care of someone who is terminally ill. She is completely exhausted from this but neither her sister nor her mother is being supportive of her.


Although Quan is there in the background, this book focuses more on Anna and her problems and less on Anna and Quan’s love story, which is fine but I was expecting more love and steam like the other two books in the series. Quan almost feels like a side character.

The author says this is her most personal book and that’s why she used the first person narrative this time. Therefore I kinda feel bad criticizing this book like this. I mean I sure appreciate everything about the Autistic representation and caregiver’s burnout and even creator’s block, but I was expecting a rom com you know. I am sure people who have experienced these things will absolutely love this book and find it deeply personal. But for me, this book was way more serious and I was upset and angry at her sister more than I should be laughing and feeling butterflies in my stomach like I do when I read other romances.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed my time reading this book but this wasn’t a favorite. I think this might be my least favorite from the trilogy.

But even so, I would highly highly recommend this book and the trilogy!

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Have you checked out my review of Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry yet?

1 thought on “The Heart Principle Book Review”

  1. Ugh. This one was a hard one for me too! I absolutely fell in love with the family in both The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test. Learning that HH would be writing this third book about Quan’s relationship evolution made me so EXCITED and anticipatory for the release of this story. I too understood that she was struggling with writers block and felt that this book was the most personal of them all. So I knew this might lack some of the “rom comy- ness” of the previous two. However, the lack of humor, the lack of familial interaction, the weakness of the scene between the three boys (Khai, Michael, and Quan) felt like a missed opportunity for some really great content. I didn’t mind that Anna took center stage, as did Stella and Esme in the previous books. But I really struggled to understand her. I felt like HH was TELLING me about Anna but not really SHOWING me much about Anna. Ok, she had a hard time explaining herself and we had to hear multiple times that she is the youngest and therefore has no choices in life. But I wanted to SEE her struggling to explain herself and not always being told via her inner dialogue. I also didn’t just want to be told Quan loved kids, SHOW ME. Let Anna see him interacting with children, and not just through pictures. Let me feel her observing his dedication to kids as a reflection of her understanding or want to understand his pain over his cancer and potential of not fathering any children. SO MANY MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. I want to love this book like I loved the first two. But I just can’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *