Hey Guys; What have you been up to? Reading a lot I hope. This past year I have done many Arcs and requested reviews… The traditional reviewing of the books I just read for fun has been a little absent.
Partly because I haven’t been reading many hyped up or recent out of the oven books and I always hesitate to write reviews about older books… unless I have something that I truly need to share about said books..
I had the opportunity to pick up The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang which is a fairly new release and was one of my highly anticipated reads of this year… And guys I have thoughts….
The Heart Principle By Helen Hoang
This book is very hard to rate, if you approach it as I did.. I struggled with myself about how many stars should I give it. Let me explain my conundrum… I had expectations about this story, I knew it was going to be heartfelt, sweet, heart hitting, it would make me swoon and fall in love with it.. It didn’t work quite like that.
This is a very well written book. The characters are so very real, their thought process, their emotions, the decisions they make, what they go through. It’s as if you can easily insert yourself into them… In fact for a huge chunk of the book I was Anna.. — Don’t want to spoil anyone but she goes through some heavy stuff with her father and I felt just as she felt because I’m dealing with a similar situation in my life.. So, that was very hard for me to read.
Anna is quite the character, as I said it’s very easy to become her.. how she deals with her anxiety, how she becomes her worst enemy, and how she wants to get better and be better in spite of it all…
As for Quan.. He is such a sweet and supportive man just as we had seen on earlier books… but we get more insight into how his mind works and what he’s dealing with.. and it was such a treat, However I wanted more from him..
And here’s where my problem begins. It is a great story, but it’s not a romance per se… or not the kind I was expecting. It does start sweetly with the relationship between them.. but it suddenly turns to Anna and her journey and growth (a bit of a coming of age of sorts for her)with Quan as a supportive character.. there’s not much about them as a couple and I understand the choice. It does help to showcase what Anna goes through but then the “romance” of it suffers… We still get a little bit of steam and cuteness but it feels more like an afterthought.
This doesn’t mean it is a bad book.. Not at all… It’s great, I flew through it. And I felt so much while reading it, it just wasn’t the feelings I was expecting to feel. It hurts, it literally hurts to read. Even the Author’s note at the end.. God I felt such a kinship with Helen Hoang and what she went through with her Mom. And believe me I know all about Caregivers burnout.. which is probably why this book hit me so hard.
I enjoyed reading a bit about Michael and Khai, and how their lives are going and how important family is to Quan… It was the perfect contrast to Anna’s family and their interactions with each other.. I rage while reading that… I literally wanted to hit someone… that’s how easy it is to get inside this story.
Helen Hoang is a very empathic author and her talent just amazes me but I feel like the way the book was marketed to begin with does it a disservice in some ways… It’s not a light read, or not so light as you might be led to believe..
I ended up giving it 4 stars because it’s such a great book and what didn’t mesh well with me is not about the quality of the work at all.. but merely how it was sold.
What are your thoughts? Have you read it yet? Let me know in the comments, I’m very curious to know what you guys think of it..