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.
- The Kiss Quotient series #3/3
I ended up binging this book last week and it really touched me. I loved it. I was having a less than great day and this story was something I needed. Hope this review does it justice and that I can convince you to read this book if you haven’t already! (This review is spoiler-free!)
The Heart Principle is about two people struggling to connect with others intimately and sexually – but it’s also about mental health. About accepting who you are, valuing and loving yourself, doing what’s best for you, and not caring about what other people think…
Quan and Anna were both thoughtful, loyal, and kind, and I just loved them so much! But they had the same problem. They focused too much on other people and not enough on themselves.
Anna was more the main character of the two. She has a toxic relationship with her family (I really hated her sister), so when something tragic happens, she’s forced be around them constantly, catering to their needs, changing the way she acts to fit this idea of how she’s supposed to be according to them. Not only that, but she’s also forced to do something that she feels is wrong, and it’s kind of slowly killing her; she’s in a really bad place mentally.
But I really like how the book showed Anna’s mental health/healing journey in the third part. This was a personal story to the author and it definitely feels deep and personal.
But I wish we got to see more of Quan dealing/overcoming his own issues instead of focusing mostly on Anna’s. (Quan is sweet and precious, and this book doesn’t show enough of their relationship. I wanted more!!)
All in all, I just think it’s an incredible book. It hits you deeply, it’s sad and emotionally intense, but it’s also completely worth it. Go read it!
TW: death of a loved one, suicidal ideation, major depression & anxiety, gaslighting. REP: own voices, asian ch rep, neurodiversity rep (autism), mental illness rep