Thursday, April 9, 2015

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

**An ARC of this book was received in exchange for an honest review. Release date April 21st, 2015.**

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.

My Thoughts:
The idea was intriguing and the writing was lovely. So why only two stars? Well.

I wasn't actually drawn to any of the characters. Quinn, the main character, had no defining characteristics other than her severe depression and love of running. It's like she only existed to be in love with the boyfriend that died.

So when Quinn searches for and meets the guy (Colton) who received her boyfriend's (Trent) heart, only then can she move on. Sort of. Because she's only getting to know Colton because he has Trent's heart in his body. They never would have met otherwise. Honestly it just felt like Quinn only really liked the guy because it allowed her to hold onto a piece of Trent. Yikes. So many issues with that.

And Colton is kind of perfect in every way. I mean, yeah, that's common in YA romancey literature but I kind of hate it. Colton basically chases Quinn down and convinces her to go out with him. Very, very few guys are that persistent. There exists a tiny percentage of guys that will suffer rejection after rejection from the same girl without some kind of hint that he is making progress. Especially if that guy has been out of practice for a few years and most likely has very low self-esteem. I fail to see how Quinn and Colton's first interaction--where she knocked over a cup of coffee, then crashed her car into his--was endearing enough for Colton to want to get to know her better. Most guys would shy away from a girl like that; She may be a bit unstable.

I appreciated that there were other things going on in this book besides just the romance. Well, I guess just one other thing: Family problems. That's all Quinn did: Hang with her family and get to know Colton. And cry. She cried a lot. Alone. OK, I get that Quinn is on this self-healing journey to get over the fact that the boyfriend she was in love with died, but there was a little too much introspection here. Not that I disagreed with her finding herself, no no, not that. It was that the same ideas were reiterated over and over. Maybe that will be fixed before the novel is released. I hope it is. Because I got tired of reading the same things over and over.

I loved all the beach scenes and kayaking and sand and surf. I'm suffering beach withdrawals as I write this.

So, in short, I thought the idea for this book was interesting, if a bit cheesy. I loved the setting but didn't much care for the characters or for the way the story played out. Two stars is about right.

Sexual Content: Moderate (I think some characters may have had sex...?)
Language: Mild
Violence: None
Drugs/Alcohol: None

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