I found this one hard to rate due to my personal experience with one of the main topics of this book: organ donation.
Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby | April 2015 | HarperTeen | Harcover $17.99
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.
This review is based on a print ARC.
I don’t want to go into too much detail because privacy but let’s have a quick Personal Story Time. . .
A little over 2 decades ago, my little brother was killed in a car wreck. He was only toddler. Due to the nature of his injuries, he was eligible to be an organ donor. His liver saved the life of a baby girl in another state. That girl grew into a smart, kind, beautiful young woman whom I’m privileged to be acquainted with.
The problem for me is that this all happened right around Easter. This time of year has since been particularly difficult for my family to enjoy. So what do I do, complete dolt that I am? I started reading this book… on Easter.
My subconscious is apparently supremely masochistic.
The characters in this book are not just lovey-dovey teenagers. They’re having to deal with the aftermath of a tragedy/miracle, an accident that took the life of one young person but granted it to another. This is not an easy subject to deal with, but I think Jessi Kirby handled it with wonderful sensitivity and insight.
Anyway, I hate to have to give this book an actual star rating because my feelings about it are really not entirely fair. I mean, all book ratings are at least partly subjective, but usually I can at least think rationally about them. Not so for Things We Know by Heart.
I do recommend this book, though. It’s a little more romance-y than I generally go for, but it fits right in with The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay and the other tear-jerker contemporary YA fics that have been so popular lately. This one is sure to do well, and I’ll tell my teens at the library about it.
- Jessi Kirby’s website
- Donate Life America
- Donate Life Texas
- Organ Donor Registry at the US Dept. of Health & Human Svcs.
Publication information: Kirby, Jessi. Things We Know by Heart. New York: HarperTeen, 2015. Print.
Source: ARC provided via giveaway managed by Lisa Schroeder.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for reviews of books or other products.