Reviews

The Heart Principle, by Helen Hoang

bee_thebibliophile's review against another edition

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2.0

The Heart Principle was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and I quickly realized I was going to be disappointed. I was so excited for Quan’s HEA after reading the first two books in this series and ended up unhappy with where things went. Biggest thing to note: this is NOT a romance - it may be billed as once, but it’s more women’s fiction than anything so if you’re looking for a romance storyline, you won’t find it here.

Quan really got shafted in this book when this should have been his time to shine. His story was constantly upstaged by Anna’s and he even disappears for a huge chunk of the book, only coming back for a quick weekend visit. After playing such a big role in the previous stories, he deserved more...more time on page, more positive character development, more from his significant other, just MORE. And where was his family? They’re such big parts of his life and we just get little glimpses of Michael and Khai and mentions of his mother - so disappointing.

Anna was my biggest problem with this story. I know Anna’s story was based off of the author’s own history, but it didn’t feel like it fit with the series or with the character we’ve come to know as Quan. This book largely focuses on Anna, her family struggles and her coming to terms with an unofficial autism spectrum diagnosis. It all felt repetitive, heavy, toxic and overbearing and had me rushing to finish it as soon as possible.

I didn’t really buy their HEA - the entire ending felt rushed. Anna went through a lot of things that were just mentioned quickly and Quan was continually there for her. Based on how it was written, it didn’t seem like Anna was a good partner to Quan and that he continually supported her while she had minimal involvement in his life at all.

patriciapluggedin's review against another edition

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5.0

5 STARS!!!!

Realistic, raw and the truest love. I’m floored.

bibliocai_'s review against another edition

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5.0

Helen Hoang's books just kept on getting heavier and heavier. Like seriously, I was smiling the whole time while reading The Kiss Quotient, then came The Bride Test with a much heavier storyline, and now with The Heart Principle, it was just too much. My heart almost couldn't take it.

Just like what Helen Hoang said on the Author's note, this one is also the book that resonated with me the most. I've been on Anna's shoes so I really feel for her and my heart breaks for her. It's really hard and what she went through wasn't easy. Thankful for Quan for being there for her.

I just wish this book had more of Quan though. I felt like the story mostly revolved around Anna, and Quan was just a secondary character, when they were supposed to be equal. I don't know, that's just what I feel. Quan is too perfect to be set aside.

Also, I was looking forward to the ending line that will serve as the culmination of what Quan and Anna's relationship is, but instead we only get Anna's side. I'm not complaining, I just expected the ending to be the same as The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test.

I debated a lot whether to give it just 4 stars because of the lacking elements I mentioned, but my admiration for Anna as a reflection of myself and the overall journey that this trilogy made me go through won me over, so 5 stars it is.

gilwen's review against another edition

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emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.0

ceciliacrawley's review against another edition

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lighthearted sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.0

johtsosie's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective relaxing sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

jp4moso's review against another edition

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4.0

This is the first book I’ve read that I cried reading the Author’s Notes. Anna’s character could not feel more real and relatable, it truly kept me up at night thinking about burnout and how AAPI communities (and many other communities) ignore mental health to “keep everyone happy” at the cost of personal health
ooooo this book got me…


I am knocking off a star because one particular chapter of Quan deciding to fly to Arizona and run. It felt so off and not as believable. A lot of his storyline felt weaker than the family storyline.

But frankly, the star of this book was Anna and her family dynamic and I truly feel like I would recommend this book because of the mental health content mater and not as a romance novel.

I love how vulnerable the author was with this book, incredibly brave and admirable work.

christinarosie's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

raygoetz's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

layna's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5