Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Heart Is a Complex Thing

Expected Publication:  April 21st, 2015
Things We Know By Heart
By: Jessi Kirby
Harper Teen
ISBN-13:  9780062299437

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 forever been 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 am always on the lookout for books with unique premises.  That said, though this one sounded a bit like a Lurlene McDaniel story, I'd previously read a book by Kirby that I liked well enough.  So I decided to take a chance on this one and try it out.  Let's just say I wasn't particularly impressed.  Quinn is so broken up over Trent's death, that she decides to meet with the people that received his organs after the accident.  The boy who got the heart doesn't reply, so Quinn does what she can to find him so they can meet.  Only, she doesn't tell him about their connection to each other through her dead boyfriend's heart -- and a relationship is built, based on lies of omission.  I wanted something else when I decided to read this book.  I wanted a story about someone struggling with grief and learning to love again.  I didn't really want a love story with the grief as a side order.
       Mostly, it comes down to the fact that this book was bland for me.  I was not surprised by a single, solitary thing that happened to these characters.  Also, as sweet as the romance between Colton and Quinn was, and as much as I liked Colton, I really wasn't so hot on Quinn.  I understand that she was grieving, not necessarily thinking things through.  But just because she was dating Trent and the heart USED to be his, didn't give her the right to find Colton when he didn't respond to her letter.  I honestly find that kind of creepy, truth be told.  What entitles her to find him and build a relationship with him, based on something he has no knowledge of?  I guess the difference between adult me and teenage me, is that I no longer find that kind of thing even remotely romantic (yet another reason that movie Return to Me is bizarre).  
       As someone who is a registered organ donor, I wouldn't want my loved ones harrassing the people who gets pieces of me to help them live their lives.  My heart is just a heart; my soul is what they love and that will be long gone.  Overall, this story was okay, Quinn's family was wonderful and the romance was sweet.  But the cliche, predictable plot and underlying aspect of creepiness was too much for me to truly enjoy it.

VERDICT:  2/5 Stars

**I reviewed this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie.  No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book's expected publication date is April 21st, 2015.**

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