Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review ~ Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary 
Pages: 304
Publication Date: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Description: 
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. 
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn't able to truly able to enjoy Things We Know By Heart and fall in love with it, but I did like reading it. I really liked the romance. Colton and Quinn had a slow-burn romance. I really liked that they learned from one another. They both benefited from the situation and became happier people from getting to know each other. They fit well together. Plus, their dates were sweet and fun. It kinda made me want to go kayaking. I really liked Colton. He was sweet and wouldn’t let his health issues get in the way of him living the way he wanted to live. There was a good family aspect. The sister was a good supporting character. I wanted to get to know her more, though.

Where did things go wrong? First of all, the hearts. There was the heart transplant and the heart in the title and the facts about hearts at the start of every single chapter and mention of Trent’s heart here and a heart mention there and and hearts everywhere. It was overkill. Eventually, I started getting annoyed with the mere word. I probably wouldn’t have had such an issue with this if I also didn’t have an issue with a lack of enough variety in the mood and the subjects in the book. There was so many hearts and not enough other stuff to balance that out. (There was a moment where one of Colton’s hobbies (before he got his new heart) balanced the hearts out for a scene and it felt so relieving. I wished that had happened more often.)

It felt tough to just dive into this story and truly enjoy reading it. Part of it was the hearts. With so much focus on them, it helped make the book feel a little forced. I had trouble connecting to the main character for some reason, too, so that may have added to the forced feeling I got. I had this issue early on with the book, and it only got better a tiny bit towards the end.

Overall, Things We Know By Heart was a touching story--a sweet one, too--that my “heart” had a tough time connecting to fully. I liked what happened. I liked the characters. I just didn’t feel this book as much as I wanted to.

2015 challenges this book counts towards:
105 Challenge
Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

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