A review by belles_bookishlife
The Heart Principle, by Helen Hoang


Wow. This was incredible. Easily my favourite in the trilogy.

After being let down by the bride test I was weary going into this one, but man was I wrong. This novel packed in so many important discussions while remaining true to the content and I’m so thankful.
While all three books deal with autism, this last one in the trilogy is definitely heavier and not a romcom. This novel touches autism diagnosis, trauma, autistic burnout, and so much more.

From the very first novel I knew Quan’s story would be my favourite. He was so lovable and wonderful in the first book and I found he carried the second, so for him to have his own book is amazing. This book takes place a while after the bride test and because of that, we see Quran in a new light after undergoing something very traumatic. The way he deals with this trauma and then new layers that it brought to his story were so well done and I was blown away by the tact and care put into his character.

As for Ana, she had my heart and soul. This poor girl had been through it and continues to be pushed through the ringer during the entirety of the novel. I appreciate that the author didn’t make her healing process fast, it was realistic and non-linear, taking over two years in its entirety for her to heal. Because of this, this book is very emotionally heavy so be aware of that.

The depictions of toxic family members went a long way to add depth to the story, and while the spice was incredible, it was also done sparingly and each scene had a purpose. This is definitely less Spivey than the last two books, but in my opinion much more well crafted.

While this is a romance, the romance almost felt like more of a subplot which for once, I felt was perfect. At its core this book is about a woman learning about herself and how to stand up for what she believes in and how to stand up for who she wants to love. This was incredible.

While I loved this there are absolutely lots of trigger warnings so please check them before going foreword because i wasn’t fully prepared.

TW: ableism, autism diagnosis, autism burnout, cancer, trauma, racism, death of a loved one, toxic family, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, depression, suicidal ideation (alluded to)