Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Title: Things We Know by Heart
Author: Jessi Kirby
Narrator(s): Amanda Wallace
Series: stand-alone
Length: 7 hrs 10 mins
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher, purchased audiobook
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

I've seen a premise like this before, in a Lurlene McDaniel book I read when I was like, ten. Except in Someone Dies, Someone Lives, the main character was the one being saved by an organ transplant and trying to get back to life as usual, not the potential love interest. Maybe it's because I read such tragic stories like that when I was so young that I find them harder to stomach now that I'm older. But however sad I thought Things We Know by Heart would be, it ended up being twice as heartfelt and hopeful as that, so maybe that's why I gravitated toward these types of stories when I was younger.

I've only read Golden by Jessi Kirby, and I got much the same vibe from it that I did this one. Which is probably why I also have Moonglass and In Honor waiting on my shelves. Jessi Kirby's books aren't all sunshine and rainbows, but they have that distinct feel of possibility. They approach the coming-of-age story realistically, even if that means delving into subject matter that is less than pleasant and more than likely heart-wrenching.

I enjoyed this story, just not as much as I had hoped to, and that was mostly due to Quinn's inability to come clean about who she really was and how she was connected to Colton even before they'd met. The connection they formed after their initial meeting was beyond sweet, and the romance that was developing was even more so, but with that constant threat of the truth looming over them, I just couldn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. However, Quinn's relationship with her family did save the story a little for me. A spry old granny and a newly heartbroken but sassy sister will do that, though.

As is usually the case, I didn't get around to my review copy before release date, so I bought the audio because I'd really been looking forward to this book. I'm not familiar with the narrator chosen for this performance, but her portrayal was solid. There was enough variation in her voice to differentiate between characters, even the two sisters because she allowed their personalities to shine through her performance.

All in all, Things We Know by Heart was a beautiful story, if not exactly what I'd been hoping for. It's actually kind of a perfect summer read, what with the beach setting and anything is possible vibe. It also served as a good reminder that I still need to read Kirby's backlist. :)

GIF it to me straight:
Cute but sad but still kinda cute.

Jessi KirbyAbout the author:

Jessi Kirby is a former English teacher and librarian. She lives in Orange County, CA, with her husband and two kids, where she writes stories and runs the beach every day. Well, almost every day.

Find Jessi:

WebsiteGoodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. I absolutely love Jessi Kirby and all of her books, but I have yet to read this one. Yesterday, I actually just bought my own copy from the bookstore, and I can't wait to get reading. Thanks so much for the review - it prepared me for what to expect. I'm sorry to hear it wasn't quite what you were hoping for, though!

    Julia Anne @ Peach Print

  2. I...still have not read Jessi Kirby. I keep meaning to but other stuff that I find more interesting just gets in the way, I guess? But I have heard nothing but fantastic things about Golden! I definitely want to read this one, but I feel like I try to gravitate away from all the sad stuff haha. And I think I can totally get where you're coming from with the whole truth thing - I feel like the longer you hold something like that off, the worse it's going to get, and I feel like that would just really bother me.

  3. I was thinking about this book on audio. Glad to see you liked it. I have only read one other book by this author but I did love it so I need to read more from her. i need to pick up this audio.

  4. I've been meaning to read my copy of this book since I bought it. I think your review just gave me a bit more motivation. :D


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