Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
Golden was one of my favourite novels that I read in 2014, so naturally, I was expecting many things for Things We Know by Heart. Unfortunately, I don’t see this novel getting on my 2015 favourites list; but that being said, it won’t be sitting on my most-hated-novels-of-2015 either. Instead, Things We Know by Heart will be somewhere in the middle; somewhat unremarkable in my eyes.
When Quinn’s boyfriend (Trent) dies in an accident, his organs are donated. Five of Trent’s organs are given away, and when Quinn reaches out to the recipients in hopes to bring herself back on her feet weeks later after the incident, only 4 people respond. It is the boy who received Trent’s heart that doesn’t reply to Quinn’s letter. Still believing that meeting the boy will help her come to terms with Trent’s death, she tracks the boy down, and discovers that he lives closer than she actually thought. And what Quinn doesn’t expect is that she falls for the boy.
My main criticism for this book was the lack of an emotional connection between me and the characters. I was not fully immersed into the read, and I honestly felt like an observer as opposed to being right in Quinn’s head. It’s not that I didn’t like Quinn–heck, I really liked the girl. After her first awkward encounter with Colton, Quinn is rushed to the hospital to get stitches on her lip. I could immediately empathise with Quinn because when I was 9, I fell off a sofa and almost bit my entire lower lip off from the impact. I had to go to hospital and get 4 stitches. But today, 6 years later, you cannot even tell I had an accident there because my lower lip covers the tiny scar. ANYWAY (I am getting totally off track here), you can see why I felt like Quinn and I should become instant biffles. We practically had the same accident (except I cried much more) (and I didn’t get to meet a cute guy along the way) (boohoo for me) but as the story progressed, I didn’t feel any empathy for neither Quinn nor Colton. It sucked because I wanted to love these characters so much, but it evidently wasn’t happening.
I do need to say though: I LOVED QUINN’S GRANDMOTHER! That woman had me in fits of laughter with the things that come out of her mouth. I loved her attitude and how she didn’t care less about what others thought of her–she just did her own thing, and made sure no one got in her way.
Another issue I had with this book was that the plot left a lot to be desired. For me, it is very obvious as to how this book concludes, but what makes me interested is the path that leads the characters to that ending. Alas, that path that the characters go on is an incredibly predictable, somewhat boring, and pointless-drama-filled one. Before going into this novel, I was expecting a book that was about a girl dealing with the grief of someone she loved, and how she comes to terms with it. Instead, for me, the message that I felt was coming from this book was: ‘you must find true love to forget and replace the burning and aching grief.’ I mean, what kind of message is that? Quinn’s emotional journey did not seem fully discovered, and neither was Colton’s because the romantic arc was taking over the storyline. And this links back with my first issue of not being able to connect with the characters. These characters, while seemingly fun and loveable on the surface, didn’t have a lot of backbone to go on with. I wanted to know more about Colton’s past, and more about his own journey before he was donated Trent’s heart. I want to know more of how he and his family dealt with it afterwards, too. Sure, we do get snippets of how Colton dealt with it afterwards, but the love story seemed to take up all the spotlight when the journey of these characters should have been.
What I wanted was more. More. More. More depth.
The emotional journeys that our two main characters were supposed to go on only scratched the surface of their potential. I felt like I was reading your average fluffy love story instead of one that had the potential to be profound and hopeful story of dealing with grief. Things We Know by Heart turned out to be incredibly mediocre, for this story line is one I’ve read several times before.
View Spoiler »Another thing: throughout the book I felt like shouting at Quinn. I wanted to say to her: TELL COLTON THAT YOU KNOW ABOUT HIS PAST. This annoyed me throughout the entire book because I was waiting for that moment. So instead of enjoying the book, I was too occupied with internally screaming at Quinn. « Hide Spoiler
While Things We Know by Heart does not sit on par with Golden, this novel was still a quick and fluffy read. It wasn’t a chore to finish, but it didn’t do anything for me for this story has been written several times before and didn’t hit many of the right notes.
~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~
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