Published by HarperTeen on April 21st 2015
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
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.
I’ve had this book on my radar since this summer and I’ve also heard a lot about Jessi Kirby’s writing in general. Harper Collins had a huge sale on Amazon, and it’s still going on until January actually, on many Kindle books that were published in 2015 and older books as well. You should definitely check it out, I personally went on a huge binge. So back to the book, Jessi’s latest certainly lived up to my expectations and I look forward to reading all of her books. Actually, I immediately picked up “Golden” and loved that one too. What makes “Things We Know By Heart” special is the beautiful writing and the unique plot. Considering the topic, I figured this would be a dark and heavy book that could potentially end up being a drag to read. What I actually discovered was that it was surprisingly light and I never had the urge to put it down once I first started reading it. This is a perfect read for you contemporary romance YA lovers out there!
In the beginning, Quinn was a difficult character to relate to honestly. She is a lot different from your typical teenager and it did seem a bit strange to me that she was still barely leaving her house a year after her boyfriend’s death. That might seem harsh since it’s a traumatic thing to happen, but it also seemed like she should still at least be living her life since she’s so young. However, I do believe that we all grieve differently and so I did sympathize with what she was going through. I just felt like some of the things she did in order to contact the boy who had Trent’s heart was kind of dramatic. I might be thinking about these things now after I’ve read it, but while I was reading it, none of that really mattered much to me. I got so caught up in the story and what was going on that it didn’t hinder how I felt about the book.
While Quinn wasn’t exactly easy to warm up to at times, Colton was likable from the first time that we were introduced to him. Yes, I imagine that he was a very attractive guy. More than that though, he had an incredible personality and I genuinely enjoyed Quinn and Colton as a couple. I felt like he was so strong and positive, despite everything that he had gone through with his heart condition. Colton desperately needed a heart in order to live, and Trent who also was a young and healthy boy, lost his life tragically. I don’t know how to explain it, but I really loved how Quinn described how tragic it was that Trent was taking his last breaths while Colton was getting his first. This is just a paraphrase of what was said because I’m too lazy to pick out the direct quote, but I truly enjoyed Jessi Kirby’s writing at this spot in particular.
To wrap it up, this was a well written novel that was easy to get lost in. I did have problems with Quinn, especially when she kept her connection to Colton a secret from him. I just felt like it was extremely wrong of her to do, particularly considering that Colton didn’t want to connect with the family or loved ones in the first place. The secret was looming over the happiness that the couple was starting to feel and you just knew that things were going to go south eventually. Regardless, I still found this to be a worthwhile read and despite the drama regarding the heart, there wasn’t any unnecessary drama like a love triangle or cheating. Jessi Kirby focused on the things that mattered in relation to the plot and the message that she wanted to send from her work and it paid off tremendously for me!