Publisher: Harper 360 UK
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: a copy in exchange for an honest review
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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.
Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby is set around a year after Quinn’s boyfriend dies in a car accident and follows Quinn as she attempts to track down the person who received Trent’s heart after his organs were donated. This person also happens to be the one person who didn’t respond to Quinn after she reached out to all the recipients of Trent’s organs. She feels like finding this person who now has Trent’s heart will give her some closure and help her move on.
The first thing that gripped me was the prologue, it’s barely two pages long but it created such suspense that I found myself desperate to read on. I loved the first sentence itself: ‘I don’t know how I knew, when the sirens woke me just before dawn, that they were for him.’ because before I had even met the characters or gotten to know them, I was already sucked into the story and eager to know more.
Usually, I’m not a big fan of quotes before chapters unless they’re really short and sometimes I just skim them but I think it actually added a lovely touch to this story and I know that a lot of people love them. If you are a fan of this, you’ll definitely appreciate the fact that at the start of each chapter, there’s a quote or a few sentences about something that relates to the chapter. Here’s a picture of the prologue to show you what I mean:
|[it’s a little blurry, sorry]|
I feel like even though Trent wasn’t ‘present’ in the story since it’s set 400 days after his accident, we still learnt quite a bit about him and we saw a realistic and raw portrayal of Quinn’s grief and the devastating affects losing someone you love can continue to have even as time goes on. I liked Quinn as a character and I liked the fact that she was flawed and she sometimes let her grief drive her to do things that may not, in theory, be the best idea – like tracking someone down when they haven’t responded to you, and we see her try to move on with her life but how difficult she finds it because of how guilty she feels for moving on. I also liked the relationship Quinn had with her family; especially her Gran and her sister, Ryan, who made me laugh quite a bit, and the support both characters got from their families was inspiring.
Though the story is built around Quinn and how she’s dealing with everything, we also get to learn about Colton and how he’s dealing with the heart transplant and how much his life has changed. I feel like in a way, this story also emphasises the importance and benefits of organ donations and it really made me think since I haven’t really thought much about organ donations in general and I don’t think it’s a topic that’s often covered in YA.
The romance made me teary-eyed at times and was gooey but the good kind, I found myself aww–ing quite a bit and I was rooting so hard for Quinn and Colton. This is definitely one of those stories that leaves you feeling quite warm and hopeful!
Favourite quote: We found our own synchronicity together, his heart thumping out a slow, steady beat and mine filling in the spaces between…