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Things We Know by Heart Hardcover – April 21, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Junior Quinn Sullivan finds it hard to forget the night that her life changed in an instant when her boyfriend, Trent, was killed in a car accident. Healthy and only 17, his organs were donated to five different people. After 282 days and several written letters, Quinn meets the recipients of Trent's organs—all but one of them. Who received Trent's heart and why didn't that person come forward? Quinn needs to know and begins combing websites looking for clues. She eventually finds the receiver, Colton Thomas, and sets out to meet him in person. The love story that follows will hook readers—especially those who enjoyed John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012). The author has created believable and likable characters who will remind readers to seize the moment and live each day to the fullest. Each chapter is introduced by a fact, quote, or statistic about the heart. The writing is easy to follow yet rhythmic and honest. The one romantic scene is dealt with delicately; sex happens off the page. Kirby brings attention to the importance of organ donation without sounding preachy. VERDICT This memorable romance will ring true with teens, and librarians won't be able to keep it on the shelf.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
“Above all else, Things We Know By Heart explores the possibility of finding human connection through tragic loss. Couple that with Kirby’s gift for detail and writing relatable characters and you get a not just a love story, but one with a ferocious pulse.” (John Corey Whaley, Printz Award-winning author of Where Things Come Back)
“This is hands down Jessi Kirby’s best book to date. It’s stunning and breathtaking, at turns heartbreaking and healing.” (Sarah Ockler, author of Twenty Boy Summer)
“The love story will hook readers—especially those who enjoyed John Green’s The Fault in our Stars. This memorable romance will ring true with teens.” (School Library Journal)
“Well-rounded characters and the romantic tension of unrevealed secrets.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Kirby’s story is, at its core, a sweet, budding romance, set against the backdrop of family. [A] story of letting go and moving forward.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[A] sweet romance that grows organically.” (Unshelved.com)
“Kirby’s writing is lush and emotional…[A] satisfying romance. Like Ockler’s similarly themed and similarly enjoyable Twenty Boy Summer, this brings all the poignancy and sentiment that a genre fan could wish.” (BCCB)
“Kirby weaves a sweet romance in the same spirit as Susanne Colasanti and Lauren Barnholdt.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
Top customer reviews
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This was a sweet, heartfelt story of one boys death being another young mans very beginning and how those two lives intersected.
Transplant stories are so mesmerizing to me especially when it entails information about muscle memory.
This was a heartbreaking story and if I must say, a bit simple, but there were many redeeming factors. I thoroughly enjoyed the quotes about the heart at the beginning of each chapter.
~Let the Ink Run Free
Tissues, you will need stock in tissues but every tear you shed is worth it. Join the journey from world shattering heart-break to a world of hope and light. A page turner if I've ever read one, the struggle of the living and the seconds chances of life for others. Don't be a snob, read it. You'll thank me later.
Jessi Kirby is already an auto-buy author for me but this book cemented it :)
If you want to meet characters that will become part of your life, if you want a book that is sad yet uplifting (some passage made me cry), if you want a romance that will shake you to your core and if you don't mind reading with a heavy heart, then this book is for you!