Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Book Title: Things We Know By Heart
Author: Jessi Kirby
Published Date: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

This review is likely to be chock full of gibberish because I loved this book. Very rarely does a book hit me this hard, but when it does, I know it's a special book. 

There are so few books about organ donation, and I am really bummed about that. It's a cause I believe in completely, and it's one that I may face at some point in my future. I have a bad heart, have had it since birth and if there's ever a point that they've done all the surgeries, procedures et cetera for me, then I'll be in Colton's position. Sick, and desperate for a heart.

I related to Colton better than I have ever related to a male character before, and it's because of what he's been through. Even though I haven't been through the emotional & physical roller coaster of getting a heart transplant, I've been through 5 heart surgeries, I've been tied to medication since the day I was born. So many times I wanted to just stop taking my medication and just forget that I have a bad heart. Sure it's great that I haven't needed a transplant, but being tied to medication really isn't fun at all. 

I related to Colton, he wanted so much to just move on and not think about the simple fact that someone had to die in order for him to live. That is such a heavy thought, and it's one I know so well. He also deals with survivors guilt. It wasn't mentioned in the book, but I knew the feeling and I knew that was part of the reason that he never answered Quinn's letter. He felt guilt that he was alive while someone else was grieving the boy she loved.

Was Quinn perfect? Of course not, she made mistakes, but I can't fault her for them. She just wanted to meet the boy who had received Trent's heart. Should she have followed him? No, that's stalking, and ordinarily, that would piss me off, but she was grieving and she was not coming from a malicious place at all, just a curious place.

The way things came to light was completely relatable, Colton's reaction was understandable, I am pretty sure I would have had the same reaction if I were him. I did feel crappy for Quinn though. She had finally allowed her heart to open up to the possibility of falling in love again, and then in an instant, he was gone, possibly forever.

This book was about taking risks and learning to love again. Quinn needed to believe that she could fall in love again, and Colton helped her heart open up to love. It was a slow burn, which I absolutely loved. Colton knew without asking that Quinn had suffered some heartbreak, but he didn't rush to get the information out of her. He waited patiently until she was ready to tell him the story.

This book was very personal to me and it was very special. Kirby did an amazing job with this subject matter. She clearly took the time to research the topic, which really excited me. I loved this book and it's getting 5 stars from me.

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