In this unforgettable novel, Quinn Sullivan falls for the recipient of her boyfriend s donated heart. Printz Award winner John Corey Whaley calls it not just a love story, but one with a ferocious pulse.
After Quinn s boyfriend, Trent, dies in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the fragments of her now-unrecognizable life. But whoever received Trent s heart has chosen to remain silent. The essence of a person, Quinn has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent s, then in a way, she will still have a piece of him.
Risking everything to get closure once and for all, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas, whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into something 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 the time Quinn spends with Colton makes her feel alive again. No matter how hard she s falling for Colton, though, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she s lost . . . and all that remains at stake.
Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, this unique and emotional story about an unexpected bond between two strangers will leave no heart untouched."
1 Reader Reviews
a heartwarming read.
Things We Know By Heart is the fourth novel by American author, former teacher and librarian, Jessi Kirby. It’s four hundred days since Quinn Sullivan’s boyfriend, Trent was killed in a car accident. His organs were donated to five different recipients, and Quinn has met four of them, but she’s had no reply from the man who was given Trent’s heart, and therefore hers, too. “Male, 19, California” was all she knew.
But, despite the recipient’s silence, Quinn has been searching: she finds an internet blog written by Colton Thomas’s sister; now she knows where Trent’s heart is. In secret, and against her own better judgement, she goes to Shelter Cove, just to take a peek at him. But of course, fate steps in and her best intentions to avoid contact are for naught: within an hour of first catching sight of him, Quinn is being driven to the emergency department by Colton.
The idea that a donated organ can hold some sort of memory of the donor is a fascinating one, and Kirby builds her sweet romance on that starting point, but her novel also explores the effect of organ donation on the donor’s surviving family and friends, and on the recipient and those around him. Kirby supports this with quotes from texts about the heart and about transplants, as well as poetry and prose with the heart as their theme.
In places, the story drags a little. Kirby’s main characters are appealing, although there are times when the reader will want to give them a good shake; luckily, they are each blessed with supportive and down-to-earth sisters. At the risk of using a pun, this is a heartwarming read.