Monday, April 6, 2015

[Review: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby]

"Things We Know by Heart"
Author: Jessi Kirby
Series: None
Pages: 304
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Date Published: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Things We Know By Heart,

Wow, you got me in the feels. The kind of feels that I haven't felt since I last watched "Return to Me." You actually reminded me of that film a lot, which in this case is a really good thing. You're sad, but you're also really happy. There is always a silver lining in all the gloom, and I feel like you really got that point across.

-The White Unicorn

This is the second Kirby book that I've read and I know that I will be picking up more of her books at some point. She has this way of writing about some of the big issues in a way that makes you want to know all of her characters. There always seems to be a main theme about death in her novels, and to be honest, my morbid side loves this fact. My less morbid side appreciates that she always writes about it from a really hopeful angle as well, even though she also knows how to pull at your heart strings. 

If you ever saw the film "Return to Me," you will have some inclination about the events in this book. I'm not saying that they are the same thing, because, they are not, but there are a few similarities. It's the story of a girl (Quinn) who is trying to heal after her boyfriend is killed in an accident. In her healing process she hunts down the young man who ended up getting his heart. It brings Quinn and Colton together in some really beautiful ways as they use their growing friendship to heal. 

Of course there are issues and bumps in both of their healing processes. Colton is dealing with the fact that he has some dead boys heart in his body, and Quinn is dealing with the fact that she is falling for a new guy. Both characters have really strong family relationships as well, which I thought added a much needed groove to the novel. Without that, it could have turned into an exaggerated love story, but the family aspects kept the story grounded. 

I also enjoyed the fact that every chapter (at least in the ARC) started with a quote or medical fact about hearts. Kirby really took her time picking the quotations that would start each chapter and it shows. I found myself learning new things about heart transplants, and also there were times where I copied down some of the quotes as well.

Overall I loved this one. Read it and be ready to get a little weepy eyed!

4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!

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