Sunday, June 14, 2015

Book Review: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

I don't know what Trent would think if he knew.  What he would say if he could somehow see. I hope he would understand.  For so long, I was the one with his heart.
I just need to see where it is now. 

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. 

This book It's amazing and heartbreaking and lovely and sweet and just wow. It takes all your emotions and bundles them and then makes them explode like fireworks in the sky. Things We Know By Heart is definitely one of the top books I've read so far this year! This novel is a piece of art that needs to be devoured by many. Jessi Kirby has written something that makes your heart beat faster and feel more then you could have possibly imagined. I know that I read it in approximately thirty-six hours because it was so un-putdownable. My favorite part was before every chapter there was either a quote or fact about hearts. This following quote was my favorite...

I thought this book was very well written; every word was so eloquently thought out. Quinn, our main character and narrator, had a very clear voice throughout the book. She was unique and interesting. Jessi made me really want to understand her and her actions while reading. When Quinn and Colton meet for the first time, Colton gets the sense that he knows Quinn, which made me so giddy and also made me want to cry because it was like Trent's (Quinn's former boyfriend) heart was still connected to her. AHH! It was beautiful. Then there was a scene where Colton brings Quinn a sunflower, and it breaks her heart because Trent gave her a sunflower when they first met. While it broke Quinn's heart, it broke mine too. That's another thing with Things We Know By Heart, I felt connected with Quinn. I felt like I could know her, be friends with her, heck even be her because she was so relatable. The most heart wrenching scene was when Quinn realizes that she has lost count of the number of days since Trent's death (which starts out at 400 days when the book begins). He reaction is what finally had the tears flowing freely. I had teared up a bit before and a tear or two had fallen, but I was all out sobbing by this point. Jessi just twisted my heart and squeezed as hard as she could with this part in the book. My one fault with Quinn, was that she second guessed herself too much. It wasn't that this wasn't justified, but I wished she had been a bit more confident in her decisions. Even the bad ones. 

I'm a sucker for a good secondary character and this book had a few of them. Three of them stood out to me the most, Ryan (Quinn's older sister), Quinn's grandmother (Gran) and her father. I loved her sister because Ryan really kicked Quinn's ass. She hated seeing her sister still so sad and depressed, so she encouraged her to get out there and live her life to the fullest. The same went for her grandmother, who Quinn describes her sister being a lot like. She seemed to be the one that kept Quinn fighting. Like Ryan, she encouraged her to move on and accept Trent's death. 

I was also a big fan of her dad. He reminded me a lot of my own and it warmed by heart because it was just another thing that made feel connected to this character. He never made Quinn feel like she couldn't be sad. Which in reality she did need to move on. However, even though this needed to happen, being sad is normal and healthy and expected. There were going to be times when the sadness would consume her and it was going to feel like she couldn't breathe, that there was never going to be light and that end of the tunnel. Quinn hated that she couldn't remember certain things that Trent and her had done together. She couldn't remember the last Sunday Family dinner that he had came to. She didn't want to forget the little things about him, like his smile and his laugh. By the end of the book, Quinn realizes that event though she may forget, that doesn't mean he didn't exist. It means that he's apart of her past and she has a bright and shiny future ahead of her. She just has to take hold a run. 

I don't want to get into too much detail about Quinn and Colton's relationship because there's no way I could do it justice and I don't want to spoil too much for you guys. In my opinion, Colton was a great character and I loved his philosophy of life. He had had such a rough few years and the way that he could appreciate his surroundings and the little things in his life was truly amazing and made me love this book even more!

Overall, this book was absolutely phenomenal and I would highly recommend for anyone of any age. It may be a YA Contemporary, but I feel like so many people would fall head over heels just like I did! Five glorious and well deserved stars!! <3 <3 <3

** Click on the book cover to purchase on Amazon **

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