ARC Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

ARC Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
Things We Know by Heart
by Jessi Kirby

Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: April 21, 2015
by Harperteen

Format: eARC

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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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.” –Plato

First off, you guys need to know that Things We Know by Heart will break your heart into a million shards, then tape the pieces back together (and possibly even staple the holes shut). And then the ending will… well, I’m not going to spoil you. Let’s just say my feels are all over the place.

So let me give you a few things you need to prepare for in this book…

#1: Tears. Jessi Kirby knows how to bring out the tears. There was just the right amount of angst mixed into the lovely romance, and you’re going to feel like the tears are just being forced out of you. In a good way!

#2: Flailing over the most adorable YA hero ever. You’ll forget about your crushes on Edward Cullen or Christian Grey after reading this one. Colton Thomas was cute, quirky, sweet, shy… Definitely my type of guy. He also had a really sensitive and caring side that not a lot of YA heroes like to show. So adorable.

“I realize now in this moment how much I love my gran, and how much I’ve missed my sister.”

#3: Amazing family ties. Quinn has such an awesome relationship with her family. She, her grandmother and her sister had amazing chemistry, and I loved their weird antics! Quinn’s mom and dad were such a sweet couple as well, and you can really feel everyone care for each other. Colton’s sister also shows how much she loves her brother, and she’s willing to sacrifice little things for him to be happy.

#4: A beautiful, deep romance. Holy crap, guys. I SHIP QUINN AND COLTON SO HARD AND I CAN’T STOP FANGIRLING OVER THEM. Enough said, people. Normally I wouldn’t want the MC to get together with another guy once her partner’s dead (not a spoiler, it’s in the synopsis), but this book’s a total exception.

“I can feel the endless rhythms of light and dark, the tides and the winds. Life and death, and guilt and forgiveness. And love. Always love.”

#5: The elegant writing. Normally, I would hate those ala John Green type writing styles, but Jessi Kirby managed to mix it with a little bit more of casual writing as well, which was the perfect balance for me. It was both beautiful and easy to read.

#6: The ending. It isn’t a “whoa my brain exploded” kind of ending, but it was nice. Very nice. It kind of left me drifting on a peaceful, dreamy cloud.

Despite all that I loved about the book, I had two issues with the novel, which was the stalking and the pacing. At some points in the novel, both Quinn and Colton may have gone a little creepy and stalked each other. Both instances made me cringe, but I pushed myself to get past those, and eventually, I let them slide (mostly). Also, Quinn and Colton were attracted to each other way too quickly, which I guess could be justified because of the whole heart thing, but it could still be bothersome to a few people like me.

Overall, I still highly recommend Things We Know by Heart. Anyone looking for an emotional read with depth, close-knit families and an endearing romance will surely not want to pass this up. In other words, READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Impact
Overall: 4.1
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Aimee
Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.
Aimee

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  1. says

    I loved many of the things you pointed out – the strong and supportive family relationships, and the elegant writing. Definitely had some weepy moments while reading this! I took off a star for the stalking thing, because it really bugged me, but other than that I think the book was a wonderful exploration of grief and learning to love and live again. (Gah, that sounded so cheesy!)
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  2. Laila BC says

    gosh! i’m quite happy you enjoyed this one as your review reflected….it is one of my anticipated tbr this year :) bring on the feels!!!!

  3. says

    This sounds wonderful, Aimee! I do like easy, casual writing that’s beautiful in a simple way. So easy to connect to. I’m all about romance so hearing that you loved it so much makes me want to pick this emotional story up. Fab review, Aimee! I’ll definitely check this out. :)
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  4. says

    I’m thrilled to see that you enjoyed this one Aimee, I’ve read one book previously before by Kirby, and I simply adored it, her writing was simply gorgeous that I can’t wait to experience it again with this read. And you know I love my emotional reads, so I’ll be full prepared going into this one, here’s hoping I end up enjoying it just as much as you did. Lovely review! :)
    Jasprit recently posted…Showcase Sunday #67My Profile

  5. says

    I absolutely loved Golden, and I’m surprised that I haven’t bothered to check out her other books as yet. I had no idea she had a new release coming out, and I’m super excited to read this one. She’s one of those authors that crafts these really intricate, but easy to read books that are super engaging. Absolutely lovely review, so glad you loved this one poppet <3
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  6. says

    I love how you described this book Aimee, looks like you really went through a roller coaster of emotions with this! And I don’t really think we give the nice guys enough credit so I love that Colton is a shy, sweet guy that really deserves being loved. Lovely review! I haven’t read a YA contemporary in awhile, I’ll definitely check this out :)
    Amir recently posted…Review: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada KellyMy Profile

  7. says

    Okay, you convinced me. This sounds like something I’d like to read, so added to my TBR.
    I LOVE reading books where the love interest is actually sweet, caring and respectful. Not a big fan of the Jerk types at all (Though, I see no reason to forget Edward Cullen. Can’t I just date BOTH guys? I mean, if there are only going to be fictional boys in my life because RL boys don’t seem to look my way, might as well have as many as I want, right?)
    Plus, I ADORE a book with good family relationships. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy to read of such beautiful families :)
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