Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

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.

“It’s too much, this. Life & love & how fragile it all is.”

The plot of this book, at some point, is very close to my heart. It’s not like my boyfriend died or something but he came close to it so I guess reading this book brought back memories. It’s good to read when you’re alone and in a quiet place.

The plot is sad – and so is the story. I mean, I could only imagine how Quinn have felt. One day she’s with him and the next he’s dead. And to think that he was ripped to pieces. I mean, parts of his body were donated. That would be very hard for anyone who lost someone. She had a hard time moving on. She was clutching on to the past, to the pieces that could somehow make her believe that Trent is still alive.

When I was reading it, I felt like I was Quinn. I felt like I was the one hurting, mourning and betraying. It made it so hard for me not to feel my heart break for every chapter and at the same time, I felt as if I longed for Trent too.

The beginning is beautifully written. It’s emotional, it’s heartbreaking, it makes you feel like you want to go back into time and wish Trent didn’t die. Quinn’s journey all through the out the story, the denial, her development – emotionally – and how she managed to get through it, it’s all realistically put together.

I had a hard time not feeling sorry for Quinn. I mean, she counts the days Trent has died. What is not sad with that? It’s intentionally breaking your heart into tiny tic tac-like pieces. But I guess the part where she finds the guy who has Trent’s heart, he happens to be hot and they fell in love, I think it’s too cheesy and too cliché. I’m not really a big fan of Colton. But I pity him. You know, coz he tries so hard to feel and be normal despite his past and stuff. I like him as a character alone.

“I’m the best kind of tired from the sun and the ocean, but I don’t want to close my eyes.”

I just really don’t like that Quinn have moved on. I mean, she should move on but I guess I wasn’t too keen that she lost count for the days Trent was gone. I felt like its betrayal. Although I love the romantic scenes between her and Colton, I could almost imagine the view up in the cliff or inside the cave. It was well described. I like it a lot. I like the whole scene with her sister too. I think it’s really nice to have someone like her sister that supports you, encourages you instead of showing pity. She’s been a good inspiration to Quinn. The whole board thing, it’s very nice. Overall, the book is not entirely perfect but it’s definitely something that would make you think about stuff, it would break your heart, it would cut deep through you but it would show you the whole process of accepting a loss. It’s a book that would make you want to read it again some time. I simply applaud Jessi Kirby for giving me such good first impression.