Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby


A surprisingly incredible read, that made me tear up on page one.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, her whole world is turned on its head. He was an integral part of her life, of her future, and now she is utterly lost. In the hopes of healing, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs. She hears back from most of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. And for whatever reason, Quinn needs to meet the person who has Trent's heart. Maybe she'll be able to move on and start living again if she does.

Quinn breaks all of rules of confidentiality, and goes outside the transplant 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 a one-time run-in quickly develops into more--a friendship that brings her out of the shadows she's lived in since Trent's death, and an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it--especially since he has no idea who she is--but she starts falling hard for Colton, not because of Trent's heart, because of the body it inhabits. But if she ever tells Colton why they met, he may never forgive her.

This novel broke me, in the best way possible. I spent first hundred pages on the verge of tears--no shame that I was on a crowded train. It was so incredibly moving, and more realistic than I thought it was going to be. I thought the plot sounded a tiny bit unbelievable from the description, but I was so wrong. It was honest and true and so so real. I was wrapped up in Quinn's quest, and in her life, so terrified that Colton was going to find out and everything would fall to pieces. Like, seriously, I cannot stress enough how petrified this book made me. I chewed my nails down to nubs, so anxious and nervous. Luckily, everything turned out okay--sorry if that's a spoiler--so none of us (me, Quinn or Colton) went into cardiac arrest and died because of the stress of this plot.

Quinn was a piece of art, truly. She was so fragile and heartbroken, trying to find closure but too afraid to actually find it; afraid that moving on would mean forgetting and would be a disgrace to Trent and his memory. It was horrendously painful and beautiful to watch. She slowly allowed herself to become a person again, a person who wanted to live fully, or just live at all. Colton was a boy who was trying his hardest to live on past his sickness, and love his new life. But the shadow of his past was always there, even if he didn't want it to be. That's what was best in this novel: two characters with broken pasts that needed find peace past them.

Quinn and Colton were perfect for each other, in main part because both of them just wanted to move on. He wanted to forget about his heart and the sickness that almost killed him, and focus on this new beginning. She wanted to try to live after Trent. But their pasts were always going to be a significant part of them, and it made them into the people that found one another. Even though they wished their pasts never happened, they wouldn't have fallen in love with each other without those traumatic events. I'd like to believe that they bonded on more than just their histories and their ability to escape them after the story ended, though. You can't depend on only that to keep you in love with someone.

The writing was incredible. I mean, I'm a crier when it comes to books and movies and TV shows, but no book has had me in tears for 70% of it like this novel. That's a damn good sign that the writing is pretty fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that went out and bought two of her other books. I can't wait to get lost in her artfully crafted worlds again.

Seriously guys, put this on your tbr list as soon as possible. You won't regret it.

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