Published by HarperCollins on 4/21/15
Genres: Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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 waited a long time to write this review because, I didn’t know how to describe my love for this book. Honestly, when you read the premise, it sounds like a standard story with no real surprises – and it was. I mean, I knew basically how this book was going to go. Girl loses boyfriend, meets boy who got boyfriend’s heart, doesn’t tell him, falls in love with him, he finds out and is upset … yep, there aren’t any amazing twists or huge bombshells that I wasn’t expecting. Still, I ADORED this book and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it, four months after I read it. (Yes, I read this book at the end of December and I’m just reviewing it NOW – the fact that I can do that should prove, right there, that this is the type of book that sticks with you. I mentioned this books as one of my top ten reads of 2014 and it still deserves that status!)
What I loved:
- The feels. I connected to Quinn’s story immediately. Right from the beginning, we relived Quinn’s pain at losing the love of her life. This book had me crying right from the start, and I cried sporadically throughout. I just felt Quinn’s pain and her fears and her loss so strongly. This was an emotional book for me, and I loved it! Again, this is the type of book that I can’t even explain succinctly why I adored it so much – it really just came down to the emotions that it brought out in me and the way that they have stuck with me so completely!
- Quinn and Colton. I easily fell in love with Colton right along with Quinn. He was such a sweet guy – and full of life! Colton didn’t want his heart condition to ever stop him from living every moment. Sometimes this was a struggle for him, especially since there were plenty of people in his life who were afraid for him and wanted to hold him back, but he knew how precious life was and wanted to savor every moment. He taught Quinn how to live again, despite her pain. Quinn and Colton’s time together was sweet (and I loved the dates they went on – I could vividly imagine each spot they went to, and they were pretty much spots that I would consider ideal!). When things went wrong between Quinn and Colton (which they inevitably did), my heart broke for them!
- The heart. I really loved how each chapter started out with a different fact or quote about the heart. I thought that it just added a fun, whimsical element to the book and I really enjoyed them.
- No surprises. Like I said, this book isn’t the type of book that’s going to amaze you with its crazy plot twists. I knew, basically, what was going to happen, and it did. That didn’t really cut down on my enjoyment, though.
This book was a sweet, emotional read that has stuck with me. Honestly, writing this review right now makes me want to rush off to read the whole thing over again (and I never re-read). I now need to go read many more Jessi Kirby books. Like, all of them. I couldn’t possibly give this book anything less than 5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Jessi Kirby was born and raised in Mammoth Lakes, CA. She earned her BA in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and went on to become a middle and high school English teacher. In addition to writing, Jessi works full time as a middle school librarian in Orange County, CA, where she lives with her husband and two children.
Sometimes predictable just works and it sounds like it did with this one.
Great review. I think I need to add this to my ever growing TBR pile. 😀
I know – sometimes a book can overcome a predictable plot by being amazing in other ways, and this one definitely was!
I reviewed this one a week and a half or so ago, and I felt the same exact way about this book. I loved it from the very first page and it had me so emotional throughout the entire story. I cried at several moments also. And when you said, “He taught Quinn how to live again, despite her pain,” I immediately agreed. That’s exactly how I saw it when I read it. Despite the fact that it was, as you say, sort of predictable, for some reason, it just worked. I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading it in one sitting into the wee hours of the morning. LOL!
Shannon @ The Tale Temptress
Yes, some books transcend plot, and this was one of them for me!
Well, if it has stuck with you that long, then it’s worth the read! Great review. I added it to my every growing list. It sounds fantastic 🙂
Exactly! On the one hand, I kept thinking, “Why did I wait so long to review this book!?” But then I realized that the fact that I still felt so much love for it this much later only proved that it was fantastic.
Agree with everything! I mean, I gave it 4 stars (review on Wednesday, that I somehow actually scheduled ahead hahah) because of your negative- that I did know the whole story from the start. But it was so, so sweet! And the feels for SURE. I was crying from the first page! They were both really lovely characters too. Great review, I am so glad you loved this one so much- it is definitely a winner!
Yes, there’s nothing wholly original about the plot, but this book really stuck with me for some reason. I couldn’t bring myself to give it anything less than four stars!
I read this book recently, the concept is pretty cute & it does sound intense – I loved Quinn’s character as well, although at times I felt the book was a bit .. cheesy. Beautiful review Niole.
I could see someone viewing it as cheesy. It didn’t feel that way to me, but I can see how it might have that vibe if you weren’t completely connecting to it.
Great review. I just found out about this book a few days ago. It’s now on my massive TBR list, and I can’t wait to read it.
Ah, yes. The massive TBR. It is an affliction that haunts us all. 🙂
I am glad you enjoyed this one. I have read many reviews where the reviewer was not blown away. I was thinking about skipping it. Glad it was five stars for you though!
It’s the kind of book that doesn’t wow you with its plot, but I completely connected with the characters and so I was drawn into the story the whole time. Like I said, I’m still thinking of this book months later!
I am so excited to read this one! I feel like this has been done before – but it’s a feel good book, ya know? I am so glad you loved it!
Definitely a feel good book (but one that makes you cry too). Sometimes that’s perfect for me!
[…] Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby (review) […]
I keep seeing great reviews about this book and it’s making me really want to pick it up! I feel a little weirded by the premise, but it seems like it was handled well. I don’t think I’ve read any kind of stories like that though, so it sounds interesting. I also don’t think I would be bothered about the no surprises thing, because usually with contemporaries I already expect them to be a little predictable – which is nice sometimes, to know that things will work out.
Anyway, I need to read this!