E-Book, 320 Pages
Adult/ Contemporary/ Romance
By: Helen Hoang
“The only good thing this broken heart of mine can feel is love for you.”
Hoang established herself as a very successful author with her first novel having ~200K ratings on GR (This translates to million of copies sold) and this book has raked 12K ratings in just two weeks. Quan was my favorite character in this series so far and so having his own book made this a very anticipated read for this year!
The story is slightly different from the first two books as it is told in first person POV and it revolves mainly around Anna, an autistic violinist who is trying to find answers to everything and make people around her happy.
The writing is simplistic and I love how it is easy to connect to, only a couple of chapters in and I have developed feelings toward the protagonist, her therapist and Julian. It is hard to flesh out characters that early in the story but I felt Hoang has the ability to convey what her characters are feeling to the reader.
Quan is certainly still my favorite character in this series, he is a bit different from the previous books but that is part of the plot as he has went through difficult times lately. There were a few moments were he acted in a manner that in my mind did not fit with his personality which was a bit off to me but it was not something major! Anna is based on the author, who was diagnosed as being autistic later in her life so I know there are many personal things here. Anna sometimes felt annoying which made me feel bad because as much as I empathize with her diagnosis, it should not define her and I thought she should stand up for herself more which she eventually did later in the book.
The book does have steamy romance but also discusses the usual autism representation in Hoang books. It also talks about caretakers burnout and about families and expectations specially for Asian families. I think it is important since not many books delve into these topics.
The plot is not complicated and I felt the book was predictable but it is not really a plot driven book so I did not mind that. I have to agree with other reviewers who thought the ending was a bit rushed and who wanted more from the ending.
“No one should need a diagnosis in order to be compassionate to themself.”
Summary: I really enjoyed this one and I think it was refreshing in the topics it entails. The plot is not the most original and is kind of predictable even but the characters were great and I enjoyed the simplistic prose. I even felt a bit emotional at the end and added it to my tear-worthy books and that means I am going to read whatever Hoang comes up with next!