The Heart Principle
9 hours 32 minutes
Published September 1, 2021
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This is my first read of the series and it wasn’t what I was expecting. I expected more of a light hearted romance, but this book surprisingly showed depth and emotion of the main characters. Anna is diagnosed with autism as an adult and Quan is coming off of surgery and some health issues when they meet for a one night stand. They were never meant to be.
Told in alternating points of view, this book has depth of characters and exploration of deep issues. I mostly read thrillers and don’t usually connect and empathize with the characters, but you can’t help but be drawn into this story. It’s told in the first person and you get to feel all the ups and downs, highs and lows as Anna and Quan navigate through their relationship and life.
Anna is struggling to figure out who she is if she isn’t pleasing others and the author writes in such a way that you are immersed in all of her feelings of inadequacy, grief, loneliness and pressure. Quan is a sensitive young man covered in tattoos so you see his pain when he is judged in addition to his feelings of inadequacy related to his surgery. And with any relationship there is the vulnerability of opening up to another human being.
Hoang is masterful at revealing all of those emotions without making the characters seem needy or unlikable. This is the hardest I’ve rooted for a fictional couple in a very long time.
Brian Nishii and Natalie Naudus are the audiobook narrators. They do a fabulous job of capturing the emotion of Anna and Quan.
If you are looking for a book to make you jump right in and feel along with the characters, then this is your book. It really is so much more than a romance.