Contemporary Young Adult
Available April 21st
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
Things We Know by Heart is one of those stories that manages to be both light and heavy at the same time; the sweet, slow buildup of romance between Quinn and Colton bringing a smile to our faces that then quickly dims as the weight of all that's unspoken between them makes itself known. Though the stress of knowing something Colton doesn't is enough to have us popping pieces of chocolate the entire time we're reading, Quinn's journey is full of hope and promise, and watching her take hesitant steps toward living again as Colton does the same is nothing short of immensely satisfying.
Quinn makes an enormous mistake early on, good intentions going awry before spiraling entirely out of her control, and we can't help but want to reach out and hug her as we remember the times in our own lives when control of a given situation slipped right through our fingers. We can hardly blame her for wanting to find Colton, and though we want to scream the truth of their relationship at the top of our lungs just to free the air of its suffocating thickness, it's hard not to be nervous for Quinn whenever an opportunity to come clean reveals itself. Were we in her shoes, we'd likely find as many excuses as she does to keep our lips sealed, a fact that keeps us from getting too frustrated with her for delaying the inevitable.
The main issue keeping this sweet story from a higher rating is the lack of resolution in a couple areas, namely with regard to Quinn and her parents. Quinn's parents are understandably worried about their daughter given the fugue state in which she's existed since Trent's death, and we can only imagine what their reaction would be if they found out Colton was the last of Trent's organ recipients. While Quinn does confide in her sister as well as Colton's, the unspoken truth between her and her parents still weighs heavily on us even after things for the two of them are wrapped up nicely in the end, leaving us wishing we were given a bit more page time in the aftermath of the big reveal.
Overall though, the romance between Quinn and Colton is perfectly paced, both of them experiencing the wonder and terror that comes with a new beginning they never thought they'd have, and we close the back cover looking forward to whatever Ms. Kirby might write next.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.