Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Quinn Sullivan has met every person who received an organ from her boyfriend Trent, who died tragically in an accident over a year ago. Everyone except one person – the recipient of his heart. Trying to find closure, Quinn seeks out Colton Thomas out, even though he didn’t want to be contacted. There’s is something about Colton that tugs at Quinn and makes her feel human and alive again after so long grieving. It must be because of Trent’s heart, beating in Colton’s chest, right?
Beautifully executed and full of emotional swells, Things We Know By Heart is a bittersweet story of a girl who loses her boyfriend too early and the grief that engulfs her. The surprising, or not so surprising, person who pulls her out is her relationship with the boy who received her boyfriend’s heart. There’s a lot to love in this book. Quinn is a likeable character, coming out of the fog of grief and guilt, shouldering what this new world means, what this new friendship means. I love how nothing was clear to Quinn as she attempts to navigate her way through. She makes mistakes and of course, holds on on telling Colton who she really is. But it’s so human, the way she explains it. How she finally feels awake and she’s selfish and sad and loving and wonderful.
Colton’s story is secondary to Quinn but just as sweet. After being sick for so long, he doesn’t really tell Quinn everything he’s been through (though she already knows). He likes being this fearless, live in the moment kind of guy. Meeting someone new and they each can re-write themselves be the best person they can be, in their own bubble. i loved that because it really resonated with me. How every new relationship is a new possibility to be the best person you are and how that would of course be tempting to each of them for their own reasons.
The story moves at a steady pace, allowing us to see the relationship grow organically between the two leads and to see how Quinn’s grief changes form through the book. I liked the peek into Quinn’s family life, her relationship with her sister and dad. It added depth and heaviness to Quinn, who has a good home life but at any moment, people she loves can be taken away.
Overall, The Things We Know By Heart is a emotional and well paced YA contemporary, full of characters you can really get behind and travel the distance with. This won’t be my last Kirby book.
Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream