Hi Virtually Readers! I’m actually away and being disorganised/running around like a headless chicken (currently one of my favourite phrases because it basically=my life). Also some people (*ahem* parents ) told me to post more negative reviews so okay. (Oh yeah btw today is our birthday! even though this is a scheduled post. Shanti and I are in different places for the first time. *cries*)
Title: Things We Know By Heart
Author: Jessi Kirby
Genre: YA contemporary
Themes: Death, family, grief, falling in love with vital organs
My blurb: Quinn’s boyfriend, Trent, died a year ago. Hoping for closure or connection, she seeks out the recipient of his donated heart, a boy called Colton. Trying to let go of Trent and fall in love again is hard, especially when they both have secrets.
This book’s main flaw was being 100% predictable I saw the romance, the central tension, and the ending all from miles away. The plot felt entirely unsurprising and uninteresting, although I did enjoy the characters, it was nothing new.
The MCs—Colton and Quinn—were both round. Each had their own secrets and burdens to carry (these caused the central plot conflict). I liked them, but didn’t really connect to them. I did like all the secondary characters—Quinn’s sister Ryan, her grandmother, and Colton’s sister. They were far more interesting and deserved their own stories.
The setting was beachy California. A few of the outdoor settings were interesting and beautiful, but overall, as with the plot, I felt like I’d seen it all before (there are too many YA books in California, I swear. What about Idaho or Arkansas or (gasp) not the US?
The themes—moving on, dealing with loss, and honesty—were the best part of the book. I haven’t lost anyone significant in my life, but Quinn’s struggle to balance grief and having a life seemed realistic (except when she refused to do anything for a whole year). I loved how Quinn grew over the book and (with some help) got over Trent without denying his existence.
Have you read any predictable/unpredictable books recently? Do you ever feel like YA contemporaries get really similar to each other? How many books can you think of that are set in California?