After Quinn’s boyfriend, Trent, dies in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs as part of her mourning process. When the recipient of Trent’s heart remains silent, she secretly goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas, hoping to find peace once and for all.
If only it were that easy. What starts as an accidental run-in with Colton quickly becomes an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it – especially since he has no idea how they’re connected – though it’s the first time in months Quinn has felt happy again. But 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.
First Sentence: I don’t know how I knew, when the sirens woke me just before dawn, that they were for him.
As soon as I read the synopsis of Things We Know By Heart, I had a very strong need for the book. I’ve watched or read something similar to the plot of Things We Know By Heart – I forgot what, it was definitely a long time ago – and really enjoyed it. I had extremely high hopes for Things We Know By Heart, hopes so high that it was automatically put into my top ten most anticipated 2015 books list. Never mind that Things We Know By Heart is a contemporary and contemporaries rarely impress me. That didn’t matter – I was completely confident that I would still love Things We Know By Heart. Sure, I didn’t enjoy and had to DNF Jessi Kirby’s debut novel, Moonglass, but things can change right? Besides, I’ve heard really great things about Golden, Jessi Kirby’s latest released book so therefore, I should love Things We Know By Heart. To my extreme disappointment, I found myself not enjoying Things We Know By Heart at all and even contemplating to DNF it or not.
Four hundred days and too many heartbeats to count.
Four hundred days and too many places and moments where Trent no longer exists. And still no answer from one of the only places he does. (ARC 5)
Things We Know By Heart didn’t make me feel anything but boredom. I expected to feel all the emotions when I read a book focused on grief – I mean, Quinn is mourning over her dead boyfriend. I expected to cry (or at least tear up), I expected to have my heartstrings tugged, I expected to feel things. What I actually got was boredom. There were three main factors that caused this to happen: Things We Know By Heart was bogged down with too many details, the pacing of Things We Know By Heart was very slow, and you could cut at least forty pages out of Things We Know By Heart (to improve the pacing of Things We Know By Heart and prevent it from being too detailed). Things We Know By Heart is extremely detailed – we know how every single thing looks like and what is happening every single moment. At least a third of all the given details weren’t needed. The pacing was also pretty slow, which made things worse.
As for the romance, I sadly didn’t feel it. Like I said above, I didn’t feel anything. I just read about Quinn meeting Colton and them hanging out together, but didn’t feel a speck of chemistry between them. I also didn’t feel any connection between them nor did I see how they fell for each other – I was just bored. In fact, I don’t get what Colton saw in Quinn the first place when they first met. According to Quinn, Colton is really cute and attractive, so what made him interested in her out of all the other girls?
And then I think of how well I know the heart that beats in his chest right now. How knowing it makes me feel like I know him on another level too. How a tiny little part of me wonders if Trent’s heart in his chest is what makes it so easy to be with Colton. (ARC 165)
The only upside to Things We Know By Heart is that it did teach me a few new things that I’ve never thought of – or even knew – before. Before reading Things We Know By Heart, silly me didn’t realize that once heart receivers receive a new heart, everything is not suddenly magically okay. No, the heart receivers have a new problem: they have to eat medicine that prevents their body from rejecting their new heart for the rest of their life. That must be so stressful – to remember to stop life for awhile just to eat medicine that keeps you alive.
Overall, Things We Know By Heart was a huge disappointment. I can’t even express how disappointed I am with it in words. Hopefully my next read won’t disappoint me at much or at all.