“A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this new New York Times bestselling romance by Helen Hoang.
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 herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that 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.”
I buddy read this with July @OneBookMore.<–I have linked her review, check it out! It was our first buddy read together and I hope it wasn’t our last! 🙂
I will admit that I have not read the second book in this series. I will definitely go back and do so though. There were so many people hyping up this book and I gave in. For the most part, this was a great read but I was left a little disappointed.
“No one should need a diagnosis in order to be compassionate to themself.”
This isn’t really a romance novel but more of a story about Anna learning to face her mental illness and learning to love herself. A lot of this story focuses on her and her struggle. It was a much more intense and deeper read than I thought it would be. I know this was a bit more personal for Hoang and you can definitely see that. Some of the harder parts of this story are when Anna is with her family. It’s hard to digest and it’s also sad to think it happens to people every day. Anna isn’t really living life but just hiding behind a mask. I would also like to know what books she was reading.. haha… Julie and I were both wondering that several times. haha
Quan was amazing. I love how he was just there for Anna. Although, it starts off as a romance book it kind of turns into something else. Their relationship takes a back seat to Anna and that was okay. I just felt like there were times that Quan did things that didn’t quite fit his character. It was rather strange and didn’t make sense at all. I’m not really going to go into it but if you read this then you will understand. Quan is definitely a favorite of mine! Their romance definitely was spicy at times!!
“They’d tell me to quit indulging myself and snap out of it. Tough love is our way. Being tough on myself isn’t working now, though. I can’t try harder than I already am.”
The biggest issue I had with this book was the last 5-6 chapters. So many things happen and years are told in pages. Julie mentioned that it felt like summaries and that’s exactly it. I wanted so much more. I wanted to delve into her mental health, her recovery, her relationship with Quan, and her family. It was all just rushed and left me unsatisfied.
Overall, I really did enjoy this book. It was a very important read when it comes to the topic of mental health. Her struggle is very detailed and helps you feel it. I loved the relationship between Quan and Anna. It was a bit predictable (besides a few chapters with Quan) but it didn’t take away from the story. I will be picking up whatever comes next!