Monday, April 6, 2015

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

e-ARC, 196 pages
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen 
Source: Edelweiss (I received this e-ARC from the publisher by way of Edelweiss. This in no way shaped my opinion on the book. All thoughts of this are my own.) 
For fans of: Contemporary, Romance, Health Issues, Tear Jerkers, Realistic Fiction, YA

     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 started and stopped writing this review multiple times. I just couldn't find the words to say. I'm so conflicted on how to rate it and what to say about it, I just can't get the words in my head to straighten out. I finally looked into my heart and just let the words pour out from there. With a story like this, that's all you can do. 
"They say time heals all wounds, but meeting those people that afternoon-a makeshift family of strangers brought together by one person- had healed more in me than all the time that passed in the days that had come before.'"
    Quinn Sullivan's boyfriend dies in a tragic accident and she immediately shuts down. The only thing keeping her going is interaction with the people who Trent so graciously donated his usable organ's to after his accident. But then, everyone who recieved a part of Trent answers, except the person who has his (and Quinn's) heart. This leaves Quinn searching for closure and going to search for him. But then the unexpected happens and she finds herself falling for that same heart all over again.
"For so long, I was the one I was the one with his heart. I just need to see where it is now.'"
     I love when I can tell how hard an author worked on research for their story. And in this book, it's quite evident that Kirby threw herself into researching anything and everything for this book. The part that I loved most about this book was the quotes found from research books and different quotes all dealing with hearts and organ donations. It showed how much time and effort that Kirby put into this story. And when I realized that each quote tied into what the chapter was about, I marveled at the fact that she chose the exact perfect mash up. It really was flawless. 
"Scientists have identified individual neurons, which fire when a particular persn has been recognized. Thus, [it is possible that] when a recipient brain analzyes the features of a person, who significantly impressed the donor, the donated organ may feed back powerful emotional messages. which signal recognition of the individual...'"
     The writing style is what completely drew me into this book. Although the chapters were short, it didn't feel choppy; it just completely flowed. I was swept into Quinn's story and was surprised about how fast I read it. I just couldn't put it down. I admit it was not much happening, but at the same time, I was devouring it, so I didn't really mind. I could however see why it could be a problem for those that maybe hadn't read it so fast. 
"There you go,' my dad says. 'Live and learn.' [...] And then you move forward"
     As for the characters, I felt so sorry for Quinn the entire time. I can't even began to imagine the pain she was feeling the entire book. From when she lost Trent, to when she found Colton, to when she had to tell Colton the truth, to what happens after that. The entire time I felt sorry for her and I was terrified about what would happen when she finally came clean. When she finally came clean I was reduced to tears. As for Colton, I loved that despite what he went through he was still so full of life and didn't let what happened to him stop him from doing all that he ever wanted. He was such a vibrant character and I loved seeing him become more and more healthy. 
"'s terrifying to realize how much of your world is wrapped around loving another person.'"
     The only thing about this book was the ending. It just felt like a way out. I don't want to say too much, but I just felt like there should've been more. In that same situation, there would be so much more going on and so much more to say and none of that was portrayed. I just feel like it shouldn't have been done that way. 
"...the way I felt was like I didn't deserve it. Like I was wrong that someone else had to die for me to live.'"
     This poignant story will make you question whats really important to you and others. Kirby's new novel is very unique and will definitely tug on your heart strings.
Overall, I give this


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