Things We Know By Heart
By: Jessi Kirby
Expected Publication: April 21st 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--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.
Things We Know By Heart was so enjoyable. I was looking for a contemporary read with all the feels and that’s what I got. Jessi Kirby’s been on my TBR list for a while, but this is my first book by her, and I’m glad that it was.
As the description says, Quinn’s boyfriend, Trent, died in a car accident. The events of the accident were a little blurry, but that didn’t really bother me. His organs were donated, and Quinn has hoped that meeting the recipients will help her move forward. She’s not quite ready to move on. Colton—the recipient of Trent’s heart hasn’t responded to her letter requesting to meet. As the description states, Quinn decides to take matters into her own hands. She does some research and ultimately finds Colton. She doesn’t plan on talking to him—she just wants to see him. But of course, that’s not how things go.
The book description seems to indicate that there’s some almost supernatural aspect present—like because it was Trent’s heart and Trent loved Quinn that perhaps supernaturally Colton will love Quinn too. And there were a few moments that were coincidence, but while reading the book, I never really got the vibe that there was something special about Trent’s heart previously having loved Quinn that causes Colton to love her too. I don’t think that’s spoiler…but I think potential readers need to know. I feel like some readers would be turned off if that were the case and so I was thankful that it wasn’t.
That being said, I actually enjoyed Colton and Quinn’s relationship build. They end up enjoying each other’s company because of a few things. They both have pasts they don’t really want to talk about. They recognize that in each other and so they’re not defined by their pasts. They also find reasons to come alive when around each other. To look around at the beauty of creation and enjoy the ocean and sand and caves and waterfalls. One of the best things I liked about their relationship was when they actually talked to each other about what they liked about the other. Often times in life and in books a relationship starts because of physical attraction and that becomes one of the only things that maintains a relationship. But that’s not what happens for Quinn and Colton.
Of course, a bit predictable and also not a spoiler, the major conflict is that Quinn knows who Colton is and that he received Trent’s heart. Colton has been keeping secrets from her, but it almost doesn’t matter because she already knows what his secrets are. Quinn on the other hand…well she’s going to have to deal with the secrets she’s kept from Colton more. He didn’t respond to her letter for a reason. Granted I wasn’t 100% happy with what went down there (felt a little too easy), but I didn’t completely roll my eyes or anything.
While Things We Know By Heart might have been a bit predictable, that’s one of the reasons why I picked it up. And I didn’t enjoy it any less for that. I actually really enjoyed this one. No actual tears fell, but I did get a bit choked up at one part. Also, let me say that I loved the quotes about the heart that began each chapter. I thought that was a nice added bonus to the book.
My favorite quote from Things We Know By Heart:
-Today feels different because yesterday was different.
Things We Know By Heart was a very enjoyable read for me. It had all the feels you hope for from a contemporary read. I’m giving this one 4 Stars. Have you read Things We Know By Heart? What did you think? Let me know!