The Heart Principal – Helen Hoang
Romance, autism, cancer, survivors, comedy, fiction.
Anna, a violinist, became famous over a video of her art. Now everyone expects her to be the same level of expertise. She seeks therapy to help understand herself. What hits her is that her boyfriend Julian wants to have an open relationship. She agrees to the terms and decides to download and sign up for dating apps. Quan is recovering from surgery for testicular cancer and his brother tells him that he should go back into the dating world. He reopens his old account and finds Anna. Both want just a one night stand. However, fate had something else planned as Anna’s world began to fall apart and Quan wanted to be there for her in every aspect possible. Love can be unexpected and scary as they both learn.
I’m hooked onto this author’s writing style. This novel I consumed like there was no tomorrow. I absolutely loved this one. Anna finding out that she has autism is a genuine reaction that most women experience since autism in females is very different than in males. It is important to know that finding out as an adult is very tough because coming to the terms of the diagnosis was not easy for Anna but that is a reaction a lot of folks have, especially women. I love that this author addresses these issues with novels and that they are realistic. I love the characters’ interactions, mostly Anna and Quan. I didn’t like her sister who was not being accepting and that’s a very real issue too. Some family members especially within the Asian community aren’t as accepting. They see it as excuses as to not being one’s best that they can be according to their definition. It is with their lifestyle to always be achieving the best and doing the best without complaining. Anna’s sister was like this. Overall, this book or rather this author emotionally destroyed me throughout. I cried and laughed while reading this. I would recommend any of Helen Hoang novels.
Brave Enough – Kati Gardner
Young adults, fiction, cancer survivor, drug
Meet two teenagers, Cason Martin and Davis Channing,
both have some characteristics similar. They both lack control of their lives
and fighting cancer as well as addiction. Cason Martin, a ballerina dancer, not
by her own choosing but her mother’s choice for her finds out she had a
cancerous tumor on her leg. Her mother thinks this is an easy fix and her
daughter will be a ballerina dancer again after this quick fix. Davis Channing,
a recovering cancer patient who is free of cancer and a recovering narcotic
addict, is serving his time at the hospital volunteering. Davis meets Cason and
helps her deal and cope with her new condition as well as dealing with her
overly controlling mother. After Cason loses her leg, coping becomes a daily
routine. Everyone is encouraging her, and she finds a group of individuals her
age who went through a similar situation. On the other hand, Davis struggled
with the death of his ex-girlfriend, a dope dealer after him, and trying to
remain sober. Davis and Cason become closer and closer as time goes by, both
helping each other recover and cope with things that were out of their control
but at the same time get control they never thought they would have had. Cason
goes through the routine of physical therapy and still cancer treatments just
to make sure there were no cancer in any other parts of her body as well as
fitting for a new prosthetic leg. In the end, Davis became one year sober and
Cason learned that she didn’t need both her legs to dance but found a new form
of dancing with silks.
Usually when I read a young adult fiction book that has teenagers with cancer, I shrug off the whole cliché. This book however is different as it were more empowering than other books I’ve read of this genre. I did love this book a lot and possibly will for sure reread it as it does have a happier ending than The Fault in Our Stars by John Green which is about teenagers with cancer and one of them dies. Maybe in the future I will do a book review of that book as inspiration of this book review. I seriously don’t find teenage cancer or any cancer that impacts the youth is something to joke about but I hope this brings awareness to those who struggle with cancer that there is ways to empower themselves at such distressed times.
Gardner, Kati. Brave Enough. North Star Editions, 2018.