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Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
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I can feel the endless rhythms of light and dark, the tides and the winds. Life and death, and guilt and forgiveness. And love. Always love... these are the things we know by heart.


I was hesitant in picking up this - well, maybe a little bit more reluctant then merely hesitant - because the trope of tracking down an organ donor's recipients to get some sort of closure has been done before and I don't like. Its simply a personal preference of mine. I don't know about you, but if I had to go through something as traumatic as nearly dying and only surviving by my heart being ripped out and replaced a dead person's, the very last thing in the world I would want is the grieving family of the heart's previous "owner" tracking me down and reminding me that a dead guy's heart was pumping the blood around my body - that I was only there still breathing, still surviving, because their son or boyfriend or brother or nephew was dead. The pressure of having to live up to some sort of standard for them, respecting their dead son's heart, taking care of it, living a life that he would have been happy to die for - all that - would be too much for me to bear. So I empathise with Colton's decision to stay anonymous.

Yet, somehow, despite having only but the lowest expectation of the cheesy romance that I was sure would turn out to be, I found myself quite in love with the story. Quinn was more than I could of hoped for and Colton was perfect, just what the story needed.

And oh, the writing! A masterpiece of the most gentlest prose, comparable to the brilliant Amy Zhang's Falling into Place. It slowly encompasses you and pulls you in before you can begin to realise just how enthralled you are. It slips you into the mind of a very sad and fragile girl whose only one devastating event away from crumbling, but somehow the story it weaves leaves you smiling and begging for more - in between the sobbing sessions, naturally. I don't know how but somehow it entrances you. It was sweet and heart-wrenching and gorgeous. An absolute masterpiece.
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