For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

TMST Housekeeping....

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. 

It is co-hosted by (Linda from Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Roberta from Offbeat YA, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Berl's from Because Reading is Better than Real Life  and me) 

Join in by answering this weeks question in the comments or on your own blog.

If you would like to join TMST and receive periodic emails of upcoming topics, please fill out this GOOGLE FORM. TMST is a laid back meme – join in or opt out depending on your interest in topics or schedule.


It's been a while since I've done this so I'm going to play a little topic catch-up and then hopefully jump back in weekly.

11/16/2021 Do authors/narrators actions, political beliefs, etc impact your view of their work?

I don't seek out information on anyone and I don't have a list of do's & don'ts regarding bookish people but...

Any author who has treated a blogger/reviewer badly or loses their shit over reviews/ratings is dead to me. 

Again, I don't look up to see what people believe or whatever but if you're tweeting crazy, cruel things then you are on the nope list. 

11/23/2021vGratitude. What books/authors/narrators/bloggers are you most thankful for this year?

I usually like to make a long list for this but I suck right now lol so I'm sticking to my TMST peeps because they're a great group to co-host with and so many times this year, TMST was the only thing that got me moving to blog...

#1 Jen from That's What I'm Talking About Books who single handedly holds this feature together. there are co-hosts (me included) but really it's Jen who keeps track of everything and steers the ship and I thank her for all the work she does!!!

#2 Linda from Books for Life - Linda and I started out waaaay back in the old blogging days and is one of my few original crew that's still around. Thank you for not leaving me! lol

#3 Roberta - Offbeat YA - Roberta is my one woman cheering squad, the provider of almost all the questions for this feature and I consider a good friend. Thank you for all of that and for occasionally giving me the kick in the pants I need to get blogging lol

#4 I just met Berl's from Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life through this feature! It's so awesome and rare these days to find new bloggers and I'm so thankful to all the girls for helping to keep this feature going after Heidi (rainy Days and Ramblings) decided to stop doing it.  

11/30/2021 Book cover love: Share some book covers that you loved in 2021 

(skip because I'm horrible at even remembering covers)

December 7th: Do you enjoy reading holiday-themed books at the holidays or year-round? 

I'm not specifically a seasonal reader. I'll read anything at any time if I'm n the mood for it but I do like to pick up Christmas stories just because they tend to be shorter and are a fun, feel good, quick read if I'm feeling drained. 



Monday, December 6, 2021

Review: The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3) by Helen Hoang

 

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.
  ~
 Goodreads

Source: Libro.fm ALC program

Review: (a review!!!)

I'll start by saying that I think the summary for this book does a disservice to the reader. The Heart Principle is a beautifully written story but it is not a light, fluffy romance with a comedy of one-night stands gone wrong. 

It does start that way - After Anna's boyfriend fails to pop the question but instead suggests an open relationship, she does what no one expects from her - she decides to open things up on her side too. Her plan is a string of one-night - just sex encounters. The she meets Quan Diep, who has his own reasons for wanting a one time encounter, except their one-night stand keeps extending to one more night since something always interrupts their attempts at sex - whether it be anxiety, panic or something else but their connection won't let them pass up the chance for that one-night stand. 

However, there is so, so  much more to this story.

Anna is a professional violinist who went viral after a spontaneous moment during a performance and hasn't been able to capture that magic again. The stress and feeling of disappointment is crushing her and only her awkward nights with Quan offer some relief.

Crushed under the weight of expectations - both professional and personal - Anna sees a therapist who gives her a diagnosis that explains everything for her - autism spectrum disorder. All the pieces click into place. It would seem that the relief and answers this provides Anna would mean things would only get better but she has spent a lifetime masking her real feelings and thoughts to be who she thinks everyone wants her to be. Even to her therapist but especially her family. Old habits die hard. 

After Anna's father suffers a stroke, she, her mother and sister live together under one roof  to take care of him. 

While the first half of this book had a serious bent, there were lighter, even silly moments between Quan and Anna. Things feel very hopeful with Anna's new diagnosis and tools to cope better. Once we get to taking care of the father - well - The Heart Principle is bleak. Anna is constantly gaslighted by her family - and she just takes it, over and over. The pain and suffering of her father was absolutely heartbreaking. He will not recover and the family disagrees about whether he should stay on a feeding tube. This was the part that was really rough for me to take. 

SPOILER-> Her dad specifically begs Anna not to continue with the feeding tube (by trying to push it away) and she does it anyway and never tells anyone else. The sister and mom are adamant about not removing it, so Anna knows they won't listen to her but man that was so incredibly hard to read as someone who watched my own father go through Hospice care) <- END SPOILER

If you can handle - I won't even call it angst - it's too real to belittle it like that - but if you can handle the trauma and mental health issues that Hoang both accurately and beautifully portrays this is a great story. As hard as it was to read, I think it's probably the best book (especially in romance) I've read that includes the topics. It's brutal and Anna is not easily fixed. Just like real life. But it's frustrating and sad to read anyway. 

There was a light at the end of the tunnel and a well earned HEA but, even thought he ending was very concrete, emotional and triumphant - it fell kind of flat emotionally for me. I'm not sure what I wanted but I was so emotionally strung out by the end I know it was more than what there was. 

I probably made this sound like an awful book but I mean it - it was gorgeously written. It's just a tough read - definitely not as light as her previous books in the series - and maybe leaning more towards women's fiction. Although I disagree with some reviewers who said this wasn't as much a romance. Quan was wonderful! and he and Anna together were #CouplesGoals. Their relationship was the impetuous for her journey and the glue that held her together as she went through it. Did his love fix her? No. But his support saved her. 

I highly recommend The Heart Principle but only if you're in the right frame of mind and mentally prepared for it. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Long time no blog....

 So heyyyyyy....

via GIPHY

I feel like it's been so long that I don't even know where to begin lol

Whenever I'm gone this long I need some kind of schedule or motivation to get me jump started. So - I don't really have much to say today but if I right down and post my plan I might do it. (????)

The plan is a review on Monday's (provided I read 😜 anything - but I have two! reviews I want to write), TMST on Tuesday, and maybe go back to doing a Friday 5 on Friday.

That doesn't seem too stressful or pinned down to one topic. 

In theory lol

I do want to share one really great thing that happened back in October that I wanted to post about but it fell through the cracks. It's bookish and just too cute not to share!

I participated in La La in the Library's Dog Days of Summer reading challenge and won her giveaway for a custom bookmark made by In Line with Annemieke (her Etsy shop link). I asked for something Halloween-ish/spooky with the dogs. I had no idea if that was possible and said alternatively it could be anything spooky. She's in the Netherlands so I also had no idea when it would even get here.

But it came very soon after in gorgeous packaging with lots of little extras and LOOK AT THAT BOOKMARK OF MY BABIES!!!

I was just so happy with it and thank you so much to La La for hosting the challenge and giveaway!


So that's it and hopefully, maybe, possibly, I'll see you back her Monday with a review!