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Everything I Thought I Knew

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A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just a heart from her donor in this compulsively readable debut.

Seventeen-year-old Chloe had a plan: work hard, get good grades, and attend a top-tier college. But after she collapses during cross-country practice and is told that she needs a new heart, all her careful preparations are laid to waste.

Eight months after her transplant, everything is different. Stuck in summer school with the underachievers, all she wants to do now is grab her surfboard and hit the waves—which is strange, because she wasn’t interested in surfing before her transplant. (It doesn’t hurt that her instructor, Kai, is seriously good-looking.)

And that’s not all that’s strange. There’s also the vivid recurring nightmare about crashing a motorcycle in a tunnel and memories of people and places she doesn’t recognize.

Is there something wrong with her head now, too, or is there another explanation for what she’s experiencing?

As she searches for answers, and as her attraction to Kai intensifies, what she learns will lead her to question everything she thought she knew—about life, death, love, identity, and the true nature of reality.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published October 13, 2020

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About the author

Shannon Takaoka

2 books107 followers
Shannon Takaoka's first young adult novel, EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW, was a 2021 Kansas National Education Association Reading Circle Recommended Title and a 2022 TAYSHAS Reading List Selection. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family, where she also works as a business writer and editor. Her next book, THE TOTALLY TRUE STORY OF GRACIE BYRNE, is out October 31, 2023 - Halloween!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 353 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,205 reviews40.9k followers
September 13, 2021
Here comes a semi unpopular review! This is the first for me to fall in love %75 of a book and then hate the rest of it!

The story of struggling 17 years old Chloe whose life completely changes after she collapses her cross country practice and finds out she has a rare heart disease and after her successful transplant she is not the same person who she was before because she doesn’t only get the donor’s heart but also donor’s some special memories or abilities ( she never ride a motorcycle in her life but now she can) is a promising start!

We may read some similar story concepts or watch movies about a person’s characteristic changes after seeing the thin line between life and death.

But what I truly enjoyed about the book was the realistic approach of the author about college applications, the burden the young adults carry, the over demanding responsibilities and pressures they have to face for forming better future plans for themselves.

When I read Chloe and her high school friends’ detailedly planned, extremely busy daily schedules and how they push themselves hard to compete with each other and miss to enjoy their best times of their lives, I wholeheartedly empathize with them.

And now Chloe is out of race, feeling shaken because as all of her friends move their lives, she seems lost. She goes to summer school for extra credit and catch up the time she lost and she befriends misfit Jane: the girl who doesn’t give any f*ck what the other people think about her. She secretly starts taking surfing lessons and having a crush on secretive, mysterious instructor Kai. She starts to ride motorbikes, getting a heart shape tattoo, smoking pot, attending parties, befriending surfers.

She’s changing but she also starts to remember another person’s memories: having nightmares about them. For stopping her night terrors and solving the puzzle about her new characteristics, she has to find her donor’s family for her closure. But as she finds out the truth; she will feel like somebody pulled the rug from under her feet.( I felt the same but not in good way)

The shocking twist of the book has so many plot holes and so many similarities with Emma Thompson’s screenplay ( I’m not gonna give the movie’s name for not giving spoilers) which also disappointed me but even that movie has a positive and heartwarming conclusion. But this book’s questioning ending didn’t fit with my expectations. I just screamed: WTH!!!!!!

There are so many great and likable elements about the book starting with characters, the realistic approach to the challenges the young adults face and the emotional depth of the story. But jaw dropping realization and ending disappointed me.

So I’m giving first %75 : 4 stars
Last %25 of the book: 2 stars
Average: 3 stars!

I still want to read more works of the author because I enjoyed the plot idea, her emotionally capturing, moving storytelling skills and character buildings.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for sharing this ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions.
Profile Image for sarah.
393 reviews262 followers
October 10, 2020
“Here’s one of the many things I thought I knew that turns out to be wrong: you need to fall in love to end up with a broken heart.”

Everything I Thought I Knew is an ambitious, genre-bending, unique young adult novel. I went into the book only knowing it was about a high school student who recently received a heart transplant, and expected a typical contemporary, coming of age story. While the first 75% of it ran along those lines, the final section was a complete 180.

I have heard some people really enjoyed the first part and dislike the plot twist- but I was the opposite. I didn't hate the beginning, but it was pretty average to me. I didn't love our main character and often found myself exasperated at her decisions. The main thing I was interested in was the concept of cell memory and the more science-y concepts (oh, and the love interest!).

"What makes us who we are? Do we actually have souls that exist apart from our flesh, blood, and bones? Or are our personalities determined by the cells that surge through our bodies and the codes embedded in our DNA? Where do our thoughts and memories fit in?"

I admit I kind of saw the basic idea of the plot twist coming, but I didn't guess the full extent of it. I enjoyed how it was executed, but still feel like it needed a little more development. The ending is something that will appeal to some people who don't need things fully explained or wrapped up, but I personally hate the feeling of finishing a book and still being confused. I want to understand what happened, but it is like that feeling of having something just out of your grasp and not quite clicking.

This was a really impressive debut and I look forward to seeing what Shannon Takaoka writes next. I found the whole book easy to fly through and the ending particularly engrossing.

Overall, if you like YA contemporaries with genre-bending elements and don't mind slightly open/confusing endings- I would highly recommend this book! However, if you prefer your books to fall squarely into one box and wrap up neatly perhaps give this one a miss. I fell in the middle, but am definitely glad I read it!

★★★☆☆.5 stars

Thank you to Candlewick Press for this ARC

Release Date: 13 October 2020
Profile Image for Chloe Gong.
Author 13 books19.6k followers
June 24, 2020
Listen, the tears are still drying on my cheeks while I write this review. I don't even want to say too much because I feel like going in without knowing too much is the best way to go into the book--it was an emotional journey of me lunging at my screen yelling NOOOO and then sitting back with a sniffle and appreciating how beautiful the unfolding plot events were. I wish I could invent time travel and give this to high school me while she was applying to colleges and thinking about the universe.
Profile Image for Donna.
184 reviews86 followers
January 21, 2021
One Heart. Infinite Possibilities.

"Everything I thought I knew -- about life and death, about objective reality, about the nature of time and space and the agreed-upon, scientifically accepted laws of the universe -- is completely, totally, and incredibly wrong."

Everything I Thought I Knew tells the story of 17-year-old Chloe Russell, heart transplant recipient, and her journey in adapting to her new life post-transplant. New memories, new skills, new interests, new personality traits. Is it possible these belong to her heart donor? Chloe investigates an interesting concept called "cellular memory" which suggests that cells contains a person's complete DNA structure so that neurological processes like memory can actually be contained in every cell of the body and can thereby be transferred through organ transplant. The science and physics aspects of this book are truly fascinating, exploring the idea of multiple universes and multiple probabilities for how life can play out.

The freedom of surfing and the physics of the wind and waves are integral parts of the story, while they act as a means for Chloe to process deep emotions and understand the changes her life has undergone. In discussing the topics of health, life and death, family, and grief, this felt like so much more than a typical YA novel (maybe except for my need to look up "I ship it" as an expression). Chloe embodied exactly what I like to see in a protagonist: a smart, independent girl who actively seeks out the answers she's looking for, always asking "Why?" like a scientist searching for evidence or proof.

I still remain uncertain regarding my thoughts about the ending. The reader needs to keep an open mind but the ending felt a little abrupt, leaving more questions than answers. Perhaps that was exactly the author's intent. To leave the reader thinking about multiple possibilities and even extrapolate this multiverse structure to one's own life.

"But I'm working on accepting that there isn't always an answer for everything, no matter how hard I try to find it."

Special thanks to Candlewick Press, Shannon Takaoka and Goodreads Giveaways for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
Profile Image for Amy.
258 reviews49 followers
December 10, 2020
Life is what happens when you make plans.

Chloe has plans. Her body did not come in agreement with those plans. Her life changed. Her plans changed. She changed.

Chloe's heart is failing. Her life is put on hold. Until finally a heart is available and she is able to have a life saving heart transplant.. All goes well and the anti-rejection medication is doing its job. Chloe finally is able to come back to life. Her life.

She returns to school to finish her studies and earn her diploma. She meets new people. She has new hobbies.
Her life before the transplant and after the transplant feel like two different worlds. And her memory. The memory of riding a motorcycle, of playing fetch with a particular dog, of a man sitting at her bedside, of a home that she has never seen before.. Chloe is an intelligent young woman. These memories did not exist prior to the heart transplant. Thus begins the true awakening of Chloe, the life she is now creating around her, and the start to a new beginning. Filled with beautiful highs and heartbreaking lows, this is a wonderful read for teen/young adults and adults alike. It is so worth it. Bittersweet is okay every now and again.

Oh, did I mention the love interest, Kai?

Thanks to NetGalley, Candlewick Press, and Shannon Takaoka for an ARC in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tanya.
Author 4 books94 followers
April 2, 2019
I am beyond fortunate to have had an opportunity to read an early copy of author, Shannon Takaoka's debut, EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW. Truth be told, I went into this thinking it was a straight up YA contemporary story—it is, and it isn't.

In her senior year, Chloe Russell collapses during a track meet. Soon after it's revealed that unbeknownst to Chloe and her family, she's had a defective heart all along. To survive, she's going to need a heart transplant right away. Thankfully, one becomes available and because Chloe is young, she gets bumped up on the waitlist. The story takes off from there. After her surgery, she tries to put her life back together again. All her friends are off to college and she's left behind, trying to catch up in summer school. While this happens, Chloe begins to feel things she never felt before, unfamiliar memories, recognizing people she doesn't know, having the desire to do things she never wanted to do before, such as surfing. She goes to a local surf shop and finds an ad for surf lessons. That's how she meets Kai, a cute but soft spoken surfer guy.

I'm not going to ruin the rest of the plot. But let's just say that Chloe's life begins to mimic a surfer trying to tame a stormy sea—she's tossed, she's pulled underwater, she's left gasping for air. But there are also moments where she's riding the perfect wave, at least that's what SHE thinks.

EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW has everything you want in a YA contemporary—a likable and believable protagonist, an intriguing plot, a mystery that keeps you guessing, a cute but sensitive love interest, and an element that is, je ne sais quoi—magical? otherworldly? Let's just say the reader will be surprised in the best of ways. All of this is written with a clean, crisp prose that moves the plot forward, descriptions that bring the San Francisco bay area alive, including a surf culture I wasn't even aware of, and fully developed characters you really become invested in. So much so, that I'm secretly hoping Kai, get's his own spin-off. Ahem.

If you're a fan of YA contemporaries with genre-bending elements, I highly recommend you read this stunning debut.
Profile Image for Helena (helenareadsxx).
193 reviews176 followers
October 17, 2021
This book was not what I expected. I did not expect so much physics and ethics in this book but it was amazing and really intriguing to read and learn about. I found the cellular memory aspect so informative as a hypothesis too. Another book that had been on my tbr for too long down, next read I am not sure haha.
Profile Image for Kristin.
1,453 reviews15 followers
September 25, 2020
Ugh. So disappointing. This was a four star read for me until the twist. It’s the exact same plot as the movie Last Christmas down to the Asian love interest. Was this plagiarized? After the reveal the book dragged and the last bit felt unnecessary and just plain sad. Also it was never explained how her friend Tyler saw Chloe and Kai unless he was part of the hallucinations too. The whole book just bummed me out.

I received a free e-arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sara.
23 reviews15 followers
January 8, 2021
Everything I thought I could expect from this book wasn't the case. After reading the blurb I thought It would be predictable, fluffy and generally not for me when in fact it was full of surprises and kept me hooked from the first sentence. It also read like a Hollywood blockbuster in the best possible sense. I couldn't recommend it more!
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,063 reviews130 followers
October 29, 2020
"What makes us who we are? Do we actually have souls that exist apart from our flesh, blood, and bones? Or are our personalities determined by the cells that surge through our bodies and codes embedded in our DNA? Where do our thoughts and memories fit in?"

How would you live your life if you got a second chance?

Chloe is an overachiever. She gets good grades, is on the track team, and is ready to accept her admittance to a prestigious college. But one day while practicing on the track field, her vision gets blurry, chest pain hits, and she collapses. Waking up in a hospital made her think heavily about what her future might hold. She soon finds out that she needs a heart transplant and she needs one fast. They bump her up the list.

After her transplant, everything changes for her. She finds herself interested in things that she never was before, like surfing. While stuck in summer school, she dreams of being on the beach and being in the ocean. Her instructor, Kai is another reason why she wants to be on the beach.

As more time passes, she starts breaking rules that she hasn't before and finds herself skipping school to spend more time with Kai. But things are happening that are making her second guess everything. She keeps having nightmares of a motorcycle accident, seeing someone crying by her bedside while she was in the hospital, and knowing how to ride a motorcycle when she's never driven one before. Things just aren't adding up.

Is Chloe losing her mind? Or is she internally connecting to the person from who she got the heart?

The first eighty percent of this book is Chloe learning to live her life after having a heart transplant and then it took an odd turn that I wasn't expecting. It made me reread parts of this book to help me better understand what was happening and it was stellar. I thought about how this was going to play out and for the most part, I was right but there was something that I didn't catch that shocked me. My mind is still playing the last twenty percent of this book over and over again.

Everything I Thought I Knew was a great read. It deeply connects you with Chloe and her life before and after her transplant. It ended in a way where some questions weren't answered but it doesn't take away from the story. What we need more of is Kai! This story makes you take a long look at your own life. Are you living it to the fullest? And being the best you possible? It's never too late to change for the better.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
156 reviews205 followers
September 20, 2020

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka is potentially the best YA contemporary novel I have ever read, and is definitely one of the most spectacular books I’ve had the privilege of experiencing in the year of 2020. Words fail to properly express just how deep, thought-provoking, and beautiful this story really is.

It follows our main character Chloe, as her life takes an unexpected turn after she collapses during cross country practice and is informed that she needs a new heart. In the aftermath of her heart transplant, Chloe finds herself seeing the world from a new perspective, leading her to question everything that she once thought she knew. As she searches for answers, Chloe experiences love, loss, sadness, joy, and everything in between, and she begins to wonder what life and reality really are.

The depth of this book, in terms of examining the mysteries of reality and life itself, really surprised me (in a good way, of course). The themes of grief, guilt, loss, and acceptance were extremely powerful, and though I finished this book quite a while ago, my heart is still aching from the emotional impact it has had on me. The kinds of questioning and raw feeling Takaoka describes are so astonishing. They will break your heart, especially if you are someone who has ever struggled to reclaim your identity after suffering through a horrible loss.

A young adult novel about death and loss and moving on doesn’t sound very original at first, but trust me, Everything I Thought I Knew is such a unique approach to this common YA trope. This book explores so many thoughts and ideas that, for all we know, could be completely false… and that’s what makes it such a moving story. The characters, their feelings, and their relationships with one another were just so vivid, and because of that, this book stands out amongst so many others within the YA genre.

This is a story about discovering who you really are, with all of the pain and confusion that goes along with that. It’s a story about friendship, and heartbreak, and being young and in love, and believing that you know everything, and that the world is yours to conquer, only to discover that it’s all so much more complicated than that. In the end, it’s a book about hope as well. There are sweet moments, hilarious moments, heart wrenching moments, and touching moments. There are moments of loneliness and moments of laughter and moments of peace. And each and every one of them is absolutely beautiful.

Everything I Thought I Knew was one of those stories that, as you get closer the end, you hesitate to read more because you really don’t want the book to be over. I absolutely loved getting lost in Takaoka’s stunning prose, and I truly can’t believe that this is her debut novel.

Full of beauty, pain, sorrow, faith, love, and so much more, Everything I Thought I Knew is a novel that you will not want to miss. I loved every second of it, and I can’t wait for Chloe’s story to reach more readers.
Profile Image for Gary Anderson.
Author 0 books84 followers
January 30, 2021
In the opening pages of Shannon Takaoka’s debut novel Everything I Thought I Knew, academically-focused high school senior Chloe collapses at cross-country practice and wakes up in a hospital with the news that she needs a heart transplant. In order for that to happen, of course, someone needs to die. More on that later.

After the successful operation, Chloe regains her strength but also has strange dreams and sensations that seem to be memories that are not her own. She also begins pursuing new friends and activities that her pre-transplant self would not have considered. At this point, the novel introduces the concepts of cellular memory and parallel universes as possible explanations for the memories supplied by Chloe’s brain but that clearly do not belong to her. Chloe wonders if somehow her new heart is also supplying her with sensations connected to its deceased donor.

As Chloe tries to make sense of everything, Takaota keeps both tension and reader empathy at high levels. Even when plot threads seemed to be spinning out of control, I wanted to know what happened to Chloe, and it all comes together in the not-completely-satisfying ending.

Everything I Thought I Knew is for young readers who like mysterious plots, and science or medical storylines mixed with a little romance.

Note: Because of my work with the 2020 Cybils Awards in young adult literature, for the next month or so I will review but not rate works of young adult literature in an attempt to keep the judging process as opaque as possible.
Profile Image for Chantel.
369 reviews157 followers
November 11, 2022
I was, overall, surprised at my enjoyment of this read. I’ve since aged out of the target audience & pursued reading this story purely for the subject matter. Though some of the dialogue & decision-making by the 17-year-old main character, Chloe, made me cringe, I couldn’t help but feel that her actions were mostly authentic.
Chloe has just undergone major heart surgery & has to learn to navigate her new limitations on life while still being in a place where she’s trying to figure out herself & that life after high school is drastically different than the one she was previously leading.

Chloe is not someone with whom I could relate. At her age I wasn’t pursuing obtaining the highest GPA, filling my schedule with extracurricular activities or worrying about how my portfolio would appear to post-secondary schools. For the most part, her concerns throughout the story didn’t really call to my sympathies. However, I could understand how she must have felt. Her whole life revolved around pursuing a set path & being in control.
Having a heart attack at the age of 17 isn’t something the majority of us think could happen. When she begins to plummet after her organ transplant, it all reads like a normal reaction to her circumstances. The way Chloe approaches interacting with her long-time friends, her lack of social ability, & her general unease in normal situations calls to the better nature of the reader & truly unless the reader themselves has experienced this situation it’s hard to state what a person might or might not do and/or feel in Chloe’s shoes.

However, Takaoka lost me in some of Chloe’s decision-making. For a character who claims to be numerically gifted & very devoted to the scientific method, Chloe seems to fail to understand (or maybe care) about the severity of her situation. Taking medication is not a joke. I understand that it’s frustrating but it’s either you take them & keep living or you stop & so does your heart. As well, when she experiences a very clear head injury she just brushes it off as though she’s never been made aware of what a concussion is. Her desire to keep everything a secret really made my blood boil. She was toying with her literal livelihood because she was frustrated with a change in pace. Again, maybe it’s because we are two different people & I wouldn’t have been so utterly careless if I had just had an organ transplant but, Chloe decided to do drugs, drink in excess & then drive around on a motorcycle (because she felt like she might know how to drive it) was all very bizarre.
I appreciated the twist ending. Though it wasn’t a surprise, it was still a decent way to wrap up the story. However, I was left with a couple of different questions regarding secondary character experiences.

How was the man swimming in the ocean always able to see Chloe & Kai? Were Chloe & Kai spiritually/physically linked & if so, wouldn’t that have made their make-out session really bizarre? How was Kai present & making effectual influences in Chloe’s current timeline if he wasn’t alive in that timeline? How would he have been able to text her if t her in a timeline in which he was alive?

Wouldn’t he have been experiencing the weird moments she would have (ex. asking everyone to identify a girl who was never seen by others alive in that timeline)? As well, being as he was a ghost-like apparition in Chloe’s timeline, how would he have been able to have tangible experiences with her, when in his timeline, she wouldn’t have ever met him or possibly even been alive?
Maybe I’m reading too much into this.

Though you might find yourself reading with a parental lens when Chloe makes certain decisions; the story is overall enjoyable. It’s easy to read, easy to follow & easy to appreciate.
Thank you to NetGalley, Candlewick Press, & Shannon Takaoka for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,307 reviews220 followers
July 25, 2021
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW by Shannon Takaoka in exchange for my honest review.***

After Chloe’s heart transplant, she struggles to find her new normal. The former honor student now has no patience for summer school. She begins taking surfing lessons with the mysterious Kai, something the Before Chloe would have never done. Additionally, New Chloe, now a risk taker, has difficulty connection with her former self.

Depression after heart transplant is fairly common. Many theories touching on biological, psychological, medication induced float around and there’s not one definitive reason, which makes sense because the same is true for depression not following transplants. I found Chloe’s journey to be expected until a big twist proved me wrong.

I would have probably enjoyed EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW more without the twist, but won’t go into the reasons why because that would be a spoiler. I usually enjoy twists, especially ones I never saw coming. I just didn’t like this one.

Chloe’s was authentic and true to character. Outsiders may assume transplant recipients to be zestfully grateful to be alive, but the guilt over not feeling that way when the donor died can compound the adjustment. Some of her choices were worse because of her transplant and the meds she needed to be okay, which I’m not condoning.

Shannon Takaoka’s writing style kept me stuck to the story, not wanting to put down my device because I needed to know what happened next. I can picture EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW as a movie that teens will flock to see.

If not for the twist, EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW would have been a five star review.
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
2,052 reviews318 followers
October 12, 2020
This book stopped my heart and revived it in the best way possible!

Shannon’s debut was such a beautiful story about Chloe a 17yo senior in HS and a heart transplant recipient.

Chloe was in full gear heading to a top university. Now, not only is Chloe in summer school trying to catch up, she is also suddenly craving to hit the waves surfing with instructor Kai, and with an awful recurring nightmare.

This book tackles important issues about traumatic events, health, loss, and family. This was well written and I connected immediately with the story, the characters and the beautiful emotional depth Takaoka takes us with her amazing debut. Well done!!
Profile Image for Liz Lawson.
Author 9 books412 followers
June 15, 2019
This book. Man. It is beautiful. Heart-wrenching. The end broke my heart and left me breathless. Once I hit the 70% mark reading, I couldn't stop. I had to know what was going on with Chloe and her memories. Her relationship with Kai. How Takaoka would bring Chloe's story to an end. And I was not disappointed.

A little plot: Chloe is a high achieving HS senior who's whole life has been geared toward mainstream success--college, jobs, etc. etc. It's a path she's been riding without really examining it, and it's a path her friends are all on, too. But, when she collapses during a track meet and has to be rushed to hospital, her life changes. She finds out she has a serious, life-threatening heart defect, and needs a heart transplant. After she's healed, she finds that she's changed. She starts surfing, starts having dreams about a motorcycle accident, memories that she's sure aren't hers. And then she meets Kai.

I dont want to go into much more detail than that, because MAN is the twist in this book fantastic. Takaoka tackles a hard subject with beauty and grace. I HIGHLY recommend this book!!!
Profile Image for Fatirah Murtaza.
69 reviews37 followers
January 3, 2021
Everything I Thought I Knew centers around a 17 years-old Chloe who's about to finish her senior year with calculated plans ahead that she will enroll into a prestigious university--and on her way to pave a path for her dreamy job; a scientist. Little did she know, all plans she has invested since she first started schooling have gone down the drain when she is diagnosed with a heart defect; Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD).

Since the defect is killing her slowly, she needs to find a heart donor as soon as possible but luck seems on her side when she's been granted one via a heart transplant surgery. Going through a phase of recovery that has taken her months, ultimately, her big examination is delayed and there's no graduation held for her--the only option for her to continue her studies is by continuing in a summer school, a place that's normally for dropouts. Things change drastically to her dismay.

At this point, I think I can relate with Chloe especially when she's already planned her journey but things won't go in her way. Written from the first point of view, Chloe's contemplation in dealing with obstacles is crafted very well, almost falls into a typical young adult character but that's the truth anyway; you can't expect a girl whose plans have been fallen out suddenly regains back the strength to pursue what she's been dreaming of. It takes time, honestly, and during this healing time, she's been experiencing recurring dreams, the same dreams as if she's living in someone's life before. Curiosity is what leads her to do the surfing.

I'm not gonna lie that I love this book so much particularly when she has met a surfing instructor named Kai, no last name revealed but that's what the author intends to. A big plot twist can be detected from here on and I wished it's the opposite way. Their love is so innocent, not like a fling kind of love, and that's what I like about this book. A little bit of magical realism sprinkled in the last 30% of the story - which confuses me about how the story is executed and I understand most readers would find the ending unlikeable because it's ended in vague with some plot holes. However, to me, I like how it's ended. The impact of its ending stays with me, wired with melancholia and almost tangible enough to feel the perseverance, the void, and the reconciliation experienced by the protagonist itself. Overall, this is a good read. Bonus: if you're a Physic person you'll love this book to the core of how the author interweaves some words/situations with physics' concepts.

Thank you Netgalley for this arc.

My blog: https://tirabookreviews.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for Stefanie.
790 reviews61 followers
December 1, 2020
The ocean waves pound in front of you as the salty air whips locks of hair around your face. The sun warms your skin as the ice cold water surrounds your feet. It’s exhilarating and invigorating, the open expanse of blue wildness in front of you, the horizon a faded line making the ocean’s end indistinguishable. Your heart beats inside of you as you ready yourself to go out in the surf. This heart that is not yours. This heart that has given you a second chance at life. You close your eyes and smile, then dive right into the welcoming waves. The heart beats wildly at the familiarity of the ocean caressing your skin and you break the surface of the water and take a deep breath in. This heart gives you a renewed purpose.

Everything I Thought I Knew introduces the reader to Chloe, a senior in high school preparing for the future. When she collapses on the track at school and finds out her heart is failing, everything changes. Her life hangs in the balance and if a new heart doesn’t come for her, then all of her future planning is useless.

Wow, this book. All the emotions were experienced with this read and I’ll be thinking about this one for a while. The exploration of cellular memory from transplant patients was really interesting and intriguing to me and not something I had ever really heard about before. I don’t know if it’s real, or possible. It hasn’t been proven. But it made for a very neat aspect in this book.
I wish the ending would have been a little different, but overall I highly recommend this read.

TW: Death of a Parent, Cancer, Heart Defect (ARVD), Heart Transplant, Motorcycle Accident, Underage Drinking.

*I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.
Profile Image for Maureen Grigsby.
860 reviews
October 28, 2020
This is a novel about a seventeen year old female high school senior who collapses running cross country and finds out she has a previously unknown heart condition. She gets a heart transplant and then is assailed with disturbing memories, dreams, and a new found desire to surf and be reckless. Is she picking up cellular memory from her new heart?
Profile Image for Jennifer Moffett.
Author 2 books77 followers
December 28, 2020
High school senior Chloe Russell seems to have it all—popular friends, supportive parents, and a promising future—until the moment her heart fails. Literally fails (due to an undetected defect). After her traumatic heart transplant surgery, Chloe’s friends have left her behind in their scramble to start college far away from her coastal California community. Isolated and stuck, Chloe starts having strange nightmares that begin seeping into her daytime reality, leaving her both terrified and intrigued. Since the surgery, Chloe has felt drawn to places and things that feel both new and yet also completely familiar. But is it just a reaction to her difficult recovery, or something beyond a logical explanation? As she becomes more curious about her donor (whose family requested anonymity), Chloe starts surfing lessons with a young local named Kai. Sparks fly between them, both on and off the waves. But Chloe soon wonders if putting her heart out there is worth the all the risks involved, especially for her.

EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW explores what happens when a teen is thrown off her sure path without warning, and how she navigates her new path—one she never could have imagined existing before her surgery. Along the way, Chloe learns that what you feel deep in your heart can’t always be rationalized in your head.

Have you ever finished a book and then immediately wanted to go back and reread it again? I had this exact reaction. The atmospheric descriptions of the California coast are breathtaking, and the slow-burn romance pulled me into Chloe’s world with a fluttering heart. The twists and turns on her journey kept me guessing up until the very last page. Add this one to Goodreads now because you do not want to miss this fall 2020 debut.
Profile Image for Shivani Patel.
Author 14 books72 followers
August 13, 2020
Thank you to the publisher for being kind enough to send me a physical ARC of this wonderful book!

As someone with a heart condition, I was happy to see this specific topic being represented and discussed in a book. Having a health condition that may or may not affect your way of living is not fun. I was afraid that the topic would not be discussed so well, but I think the author did a good job. I can’t relate to having a transplant but I can relate to having an intense heart surgery + dealing with the fact I may have needed a new heart.

A lot of the questions that were brought up in this book regarding the transplant were questions I had when I first started discussing this sensitive topic with my doctors so this book was kind of relatable.

I also find that some books have a predictable ending but wow Shannon really threw us in for such a ride at the end!

Overall - I loved it. And I am thankful this book exists. I highly recommend it <3
Profile Image for Rameela (Star).
657 reviews225 followers
June 26, 2020
Initial Thoughts: This was so unexpected not gonna lie. In the beginning I thought it would be a 3 star because the writing in the beginning was a little strange for me. I didn't expect to be completely addicted though and finished this in like 2 days.
Profile Image for Lauren.
120 reviews
January 1, 2021
Everyone's saying it, but the plot twist is seriously A Plot Twist. I didn't think it was bad, per se, but it was definitely rushed and should have been a bit dragged out. Other than that, I really liked this book
Profile Image for ❊ Cami ❊.
91 reviews19 followers
May 30, 2021
"I see it through his eyes. Feel it through his heart"

أنْ تَرَيْ بعيونِ بصيرةِ قلبٍ غيرِ قلبك
أن تُحسِّي بنبضاتِ فؤاده التي بين جنبيكِ و تعيشي ذكرياته

جميلٌ هذا الكتاب، و عميقة ٌكانت قصّته. تحلو قراءته في أمسية على الشطّ.

لأنّ ثلاثة أرباعه راقت لي، كنت قد عزمتُ على تقييم الكتاب بخمسة نجوم، بيد أن سِكّته نحتْ غيرَ المنحى الذي توقعته :

النهاية أشعرتني بالفراغ و النقص و شيءٍ من الفضول و عدم الرضا.

بعض الاقتباسات:

"Suddenly I am ashamed at how ambivalent I’ve been about the future. What would this grief-stricken man think if he knew that I had almost crashed a motorcycle in the same tunnel where his son had died? That I had been skipping doses of my anti-rejection medication? That I had been smoking? I’ve been unforgivably careless with his son’s precious heart. The weight of carrying his hopes and dreams, in addition to my own, is almost too much to bear"

تذكرت أن قلوبنا و أبصارنا و أسماعنا و كل جوارحنا هي أمانة من الرب, قليلا ما حافظنا عليها كمراده جل و علا.

"To me, the scariest thing possible is to have something wrong with your mind. With your ability to tell fact from fiction. Real from unreal."

"But it couldn’t last, could it? By crossing the boundaries that kept our realities apart, we were breaking the rules. Rebelling against the laws of physics. Even if we didn’t know it."

"You can do everything right, weigh every decision, mitigate every risk, and still nearly drop dead of a heart attack a few weeks after your seventeenth birthday. Or crash your motorcycle in a tunnel. Or get cancer. Or be sitting directly in the path of a flaming asteroid when it falls out of the sky. We are nothing but specks of dust that have settled, ever so briefly, on the vast expanse of everything. All it takes is a single cosmic breath to blow our way and we’re gone.
But still.
And yet.
We get up every day. We go to school. We eat. We drink. We surf. We fall in love. If we are lucky, we grasp every moment we’ve got with both hands.

"I stand there for a minute. Feel the icy-cold water washing over my toes. Inhale the sea, the sky, the sun, everything.
I fasten the collar of my wetsuit.
Then I lift my board and run for it, pounding heart to pounding waves."

وقفتُ هناك دقيقة، أستشعر الماء البارد كالجليد يغمر أطراف أصابعي. أحكمت طوق بدلة السباحة ثم أخذت لوحي و سعيت نحوها :
قلب نابض لأمواج خافقة.

أحسنتْ شانون صنعا في كتابها الأول هذا ، أرجو أن أقرأ لها المزيد.
Profile Image for -ˏˋclaraˊˎ-.
144 reviews29 followers
November 28, 2020
Even though I complain quite a lot about YA sometimes, it's books like this that make me still believe in the genre.

The premise of this book summarizes the whole story pretty well: Chloe is a young girl who seems to have everything planned when it comes to her future. However, an unexpected situation threatens to crumble her scheme completely: her heart is not functioning correctly, and she needs a transplant in order to keep on living.

At first, I was slightly taken aback because of how little the book explained about the before-the-transplant stage: one moment Chloe was completely fine running with her friend, then the next moment she had already gone through surgery and six months had already passed. We do get some info about her recovery and how she is coping with her new heart, but I was expecting to see more of her exact feelings as she went through those changes rather than being told about it.

Despite this, the story quickly picked up and became entertaining, more profound and undeniably engrossing. Chloe's personality was really enjoyable, and the things she experienced, her struggles, her own self-discovery and seeing her relate to the other characters around her was very refreshing, fun, and made me reflect on my own life and relationships in ways that only stories like this could.

Even though there is a "magical" or paranormal component to it, the novel deals with realistic themes, and the author's writing, which is simple yet efficient to convey emotions, makes this a compelling, gripping read. It made me happy through and through.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kriti Dalmia.
263 reviews5 followers
July 20, 2021
"But I'm working on accepting that there isn't always an answer for everything, no matter how hard I try to find it."

When suddenly everything in life changes, it becomes difficult to adapt. You live for the sake of living with no goals or motives. It seems you lost everything, this is what happens here with our protagonist Chloe.

Chloe was an A type student with a plan to attend a top tier college but everything goes waste the day she collapses and is told she needs a heart transplant. This story is her journey to adapt the new heart as her own. I had goosebumps in the last parts of the book and it was shocking, mind bending, I don't know what more to write or say.

This book is an epitome of letting us know how important are second chances. How sometimes the answer you get are not the ones you want or expect. It tells us that there is so much more to the world, to this universe that we will question everything we thought we knew.

Shannon Takaoka's this debut novel is a page-turner. It is fascinating, well paced and makes us root for Chloe. The twist will hit you hard and make you think what was it. It will give you all the feels.

If you enjoy YA book with a touch of sci-fi, then this one is for you. Expect the unexpected.
Profile Image for Aspen ass pain.
4 reviews1 follower
April 13, 2022
i hate books that don’t have a realistic(?) ending. it made me mad and it didn’t make a lot of sense but it was good
Profile Image for The Bookend Diner.
557 reviews351 followers
October 14, 2020
Thank you, Candlewick Press, for gifting me this incredible book by Shannon Takaoka.

Okay, y’all stick with me as I try to formulate the best way to review this beautiful story. I know I won’t do it justice, but I am going to try...

In 2019, my sister-in-law, Payton, passed away from a heart defect. She was 19 years old and had a massive heart attack while heading out the door with her boyfriend. She had just graduated from high school and all set to start college in August. She was full of life and love and such pure happiness. She was a vegetarian, played sports, and took care of herself. But, with a hole in her heart, she didn’t stand a chance.

Grief is a normal thing, and in grief, we can often find ourselves wondering where our loved one would be if they hadn’t died. Would they be fulfilling their dreams and making the world a better place? Maybe if Payton had a heart transplant she would in the middle of her sophomore year, driving her jeep too fast down the highway with her dogs in the back seat.

I knew when I started EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW that it would be a book that I would love, but I had no idea just how much I would love it. How poignant the entire story was to my life and my family’s grief. Takaoka wrote such a creative and reflective story that I couldn’t put it down — I sat down to read a few pages, and then it morphed into 150 pages. I couldn’t sleep, so I read another 100 pages.

Then I sat down this morning to read the last 50 pages while drinking coffee and crying about a book that I truly felt in my heart.

This book also firmly cemented my feelings on organ donation. I have been an organ donor since I was 18 and convinced my husband to sign up as a donor shortly after we started dating. I know there are a lot of reasons while people can’t do that, and I get it. But, for me, once I’m gone I don’t need my organs. And if my donation could potentially save the life of a 19-year-old girl who is just beginning her life then I'm okay with that.

If you haven’t noticed, I loved EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW and I gave it five-stars. It was published on October 13, 2020, and can be ordered from your local bookstore.
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