Friday, 24 April 2015

Review: Things We Know by Heart

Things We Know by Heart
Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~ 
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.

There are three things you need to know about Things We Know by Heart.

1) It will possibly break your heart.
2) It's not about moving on, or even moving forward, it's just about moving.
3) It's about learning to put it back together in a new way than it was. It's about evolving, reshaping, adapting to a missing piece that won't-and can't-be replaced.

I loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, I think it did make a huge difference to the story, helped make you understand more because it shows you facts of the heart and it shows you what facts of the heart can't tell you, and the decisions of both Quinn and Colton, because they are both struggling in their own way, but that struggle is what connects them both, that makes them learn from one another. Quinn was looking for closure, and when she wrote those letters to the recipient of Trent's heart, she thought that might be the missing puzzle piece that would give it to her, until he doesn't write back. So she breaks the rules and goes looking for him, and she finds that closure in a whole different way that she thought would never happen to her again, Colton teaches her how to live in the day. In the now. Make the day count because you might not get another.

Which leads me to the issue. This isn't my issue, but it may be someone else's. The lines Quinn crossed.

You may not agree with what Quinn does, but you can't judge her on it, because you don't know how you'd act to something like that until you're suddenly in that position. But, you can understand it. It's enough that you've lost someone, they're dead. Gone. Not alive. But then organs and pieces of that person is alive, it has to be one of the most confusing things mingled in with grief. So no, I don't exactly agree with what Quinn did, all the lies and secrets because there are reasons why there are regulations and conditions when it comes to organ donors and the receivers on both parties. In parts, Things We Know by Heart is a perfect example of why.

You know, all the way through Things We Know by Heart, I was thinking it would be a four, because there was just something missing for me. I felt the hurt and loss Quinn was going through, I felt the quicksand she seemed to be drowning in, brief moments she can pull herself up...before it sucks her back down. I felt the sense of knowing Trent, through Quinn, which was rather weird since after the beginning, we didn't get much about him, I mean, his presence is still there all the way through, and we do get bits and pieces from Quinn, but his presence is more in the background then. So yeah, a solid four...and then I got to 79% and all that changed. There it was, that intense emotion that resides in the grey area, lucky and sad, happy and angry, with guilt underlining it all. That's what was missing for me, and then I found it. That emotion only someone who is alive and only alive because somebody else is dead and yet, Jessi Kirby made me feel it.

Things We Know by Heart is a heart-wrenching and beautiful story, it shows you the importance of organ donors (and why you should be one), and it isn't the story you may think it is, it's not about finding love again and poof, heals all wounds. It's just about trying.

I registered to be an organ donor when I was 18, and I started giving blood at the same, and I don't even know why, there was nobody in my family that had needed an organ transplant, it just felt like something I should do. On 1st December 2015, everyone in Wales will be an organ donor, so instead of opting in, you have to opt out.  

So, my question to you (as was the same question Brandi @ Brandi Breathes Books  asked)...
Are you an Organ Donor? 

Rating: 4.5/5