Author: Jessi Kirby
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Quinn Sullivan lost the love of her life when her boyfriend, Trent, died in an accident their junior year. In an attempt to get closure, she reached out to the recipients of his donated organs. Though some answered her letters, the one Quinn feels matters most--the person who received Trent's heart--has been silent.
Nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas has spent the last several years in and out of hospitals waiting for a heart transplant. Now that he's finally received a new heart, Colton is regaining strength, and he's walking away from his bedridden past with no intention of looking back. He doesn't want to know about the person who had to die so that he could live. He only wants to move forward.
But Quinn can't let it go. Venturing outside the system to find Colton, Quinn takes a risk in hopes of finally laying her memories to rest. But what begins as an innocent conversation quickly becomes an attraction--and to make matters worse, Colton has no idea how they're connected. His zest for life pulls Quinn from her months of sorrow but leaves her torn between honesty and utter betrayal. Because no matter how hard she's falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she's lost.
“For so long, I was the one with his heart. I just need to see where it is now.”
I can’t believe I almost skipped this book. Things We Know by Heart was so moving and beautiful. I don’t know if it was just my mood that enhanced the emotions or what, but I swear, it felt like my eyes were on a continuous drip while reading. Ah, but there were plenty of smiles and laughs too.
Quinn’s boyfriend died and his organs were donated to various people. First of all, I’m so happy that the subject of organ donation was covered and we get to briefly see the people who were saved because of it. It was incredibly touching. Quinn has met with all the recipients except the one who means the most to her. All she wants is a glimpse of the guy who received Trent’s heart, but apparently fate has other plans.
I adore Colton and Quinn. Colton has a great attitude and doesn’t want to waste any of his second chance at life. While Quinn is stuck, not sure how to move on from her loss. Oh, these two. The chemistry and pull between them is palpable, and their connection feels so easy and natural. It just feels good when they’re together.
“Are you hungry? I know this great taco place. We could eat, and then maybe- ” He stops when I shake my head.
“I can’t. It’s Sunday.”
“You don’t eat tacos on Sunday?”
I manage, barely, to match his straight face. “No. Only on Tuesdays.”
The secondary characters are wonderful too. They are so supportive of Quinn and are really there for her. My favorites are her sister and grandma; how they showed such strength and pushed Quinn in just the right ways.
And of course, I love the setting! The author does a wonderful job at transporting us to the small coastal town and taking us on their little adventures. Anytime a place like this is mentioned in a book, I automatically conjure images of places I’m familiar with and love on California’s central coast. So it made me giddy when actual places I know were mentioned. I about died laughing at the description of Pirate’s Cove because it’s spot-on.
Something else I really enjoyed was how each chapter starts with a quote, fact or statistic about the heart. This was such a great touch! Even some of the facts and statistics are beautiful and felt emotional given the context.
The Things We Know by Heart is an absolute gem. This is my first Jessi Kirby book, but it’s definitely not my last.