Book Talk: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Book Talk: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi KirbyThings We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
Published by HarperTeen on April 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: Moonglass, In Honor, Golden
Format: ARC
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Quinn’s boyfriend passed away tragically. Over the past year she’s kind of stopped LIVING life as Trent’s life ended. Trent was an organ donor and one of the things she HAS been doing is making contact with all the people who received his organs. She’s heard from all except the person who got his heart. She does her own research to find who it is and she finds out it is a boy around her age. She decides she just needs to go see him and get some closure. She’s read his story from his sister’s blog and knows a lot about him. She doesn’t plan to talk to him, just see him from afar, but a run-in they have results in them spending time together and Quinn keeps the secret of who she really is despite how close they are growing closer and Colton gives Quinn this vigor for life again as she sees how he approaches life.

a2*gets copying quotes down into quote notebook* GOD HER BOOKS MAKE ME THINK/ARE ALWAYS SO QUOTEABLE.

a4It’s always a little nerve-wracking as much as it is exciting when one of your favorite authors has a new book out. WILL I LOVE IT? WILL I NOT? And Jessi Kirby is one of my favorite authors (you should really check out her books Golden, Moonglass and In Honor). I’m happy to report that we’ve got another book for me to love in Things We Know By Heart.

Let’s talk about some things I really enjoyed about this one.

1. The setting: OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. Jessi Kirby always knows how to write a good setting. All of her books have this atmospheric quality. I mean she really has you hearing the waves and feeling the sand between your toes or taking in the starry sky. This had a beach setting again, like Moonglass, and OH it made me want to pack my stuff and head to the West Coast. Everywhere they went and everything they did…I could just picture it so well. Jessi is one of the best when it comes to creating the setting and it really adds to my reading experience. She transports you in a way that most can’t and did that ESPECIALLY well here in Things We Know By Heart.

2. The hurdles in the romance: I mean, if you’ve read the summary, you know that the dude was the recipient of a heart transplant — her boyfriend’s heart. He LITERALLY has the heart of her boyfriend who passed away  and she falls for him. She knows exactly who he is because she needed to see the recipient of her boyfriend’s heart. She knows she’s crossing the lines when she hangs out with him and then when feelings start to blossom. SHE KNOWS. She feels how weird this is. AND HE DOESN’T KNOW WHO SHE IS AND THE CONNECTION THEY SHARE. I understood her resistance but also how she couldn’t deny a real connection. It’s such a cute romance that is driven by a lot of things but it’s so hard because you KNOW at some point THE REVEAL has to happen in some way. I kept waiting for that moment. It was

3. The exploration of grief: Quinn has really let herself be so consumed with her grief when we meet her. She’s so shut inside of herself and has basically stopped really living and moving forward. When she meets Colton he’s had the exact opposite reaction to that day. He’s finally able to think of a future and he’s really LIVING because he’s been so sick for so long. I loved the contrast of the two who were both impacted by Trent’s death and how Colton’s excitement for life starts to remind Quinn what it’s like to be ALIVE and that she still gets to live. Quinn was hard to connect with for me at first but I really loved watching her want to live life again.

4. HER WORDS: Jessi Kirby writes beautifully and just there are these sentences that are just WOAH. And she makes you think! Beautiful prose in this one as I’ve come to expect! SO QUOTEABLE.



factors+ writing, plot, feels, romance
–  wish I connected a little more with Quinn (and also seen more of her and Trent so I could really feel/understand why her grief was the way it was)

Re-readability: Possibly yes because the writing was so good and the romance was so cute.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Yes because I want to own all Jessi’s books

a5contemporary YA fans, fans of Jessi’s other books, readers who love Sarah Dessen and want to branch out (my cousin who just rereads SD books over and over listened to my Jessi Kirby rec and loves her books now),

a8Things We Know By Heart was so, so good. It was equal parts sweet and sad and wholly a book that reminds you that, while every day could be your last because life is so fragile, every day is also a chance to live fully in that day and recognize what a gift it truly is. Very life-affirming stuff! Now I need y’all to go buy all of Jessi’s books because they are all worth it!

review-on-post-itThings We KNow By heart by jessi kirby


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?



The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Yes! I loved this one and I love that you mention the scenery. I looooove books that have that beachy theme to them … you’re right, you can just hear the waves in the background! And the romance was rough, but real … such a hard kind of romance to relate to. Loved this one and yeah, Jessi Kirby is one of my favourites, too. 🙂

    • Have you read her book Moonglass? The beach setting was TO DIE FOR. Even In Honor I thought had good setting as a road trip book. Certain scenes I can STILL remember the settings for. (I think you read that one, yes?)

      And yes the romance was like “awww this is so cute” but then you are like OH BUT WAIT…it’s all built on a lie really so you are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  2. I picked up a copy of this one, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet! I actually picked up the copy even though I’ve never read any Jessi Kirby because I’ve seen your reviews for her books and I know you like her. I will have to read it soon. I love Sarah Dessen’s books, so if Kirby’s are similar, I’m sure I’ll love it.

    • OH THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!!! She really is one of my favorites and is so so underrated. I also know that Sarah Dessen is a fan of her. I’ve seen her tweeting about Jessi’s books before. I think Golden is still my favorite of her books but I love them all for different reasons! I hope you enjoy them all!! <3

  3. Joanna says:

    I haven’t read a Jessi Kirby book before and this one seems like a really interesting concept. A good one to put on my list to check out!

    • YAY! Jessi Kirby is a favorite — all 4 of her books have been excellent for me!! All so different but amazing.

  4. The setting was a high point for me as well. It got me thinking about all the best beach-setting books.

  5. I haven’t read any of her books before, so this will be my first Kirby read. The whole concept seems really great and unique. Nice to see that Dessen fans looking to expand would enjoy her!

  6. I really enjoyed Golden, and I am excited to read this one as well. Jessi Kirby has such a magical way of words, so I expect a terrific read – a thought only confirmed by your review! Lovely post.

  7. Gosh, I’m just so excited to read this, it sounds great. I haven’t read any of her books before but the blurb, and your review have gotten me hooked. This will certainly be my next read!

    • YAY! This makes me so happy. her books are all so excellent and underrated!! Golden is my FAVORITE followed by Moonglass and then In Honor and this one are tied…but like I still love them!

  8. Hi,
    I’ve been looking everywhere for where exactly the setting is i can guess it is near a cost in america please tell me where I’m so desperate

    • I believe it’s on the coast in California. Jessi lives in California and she tends to set her books in beachy type towns that are in California and this was the same vibe from what I remember.


  1. […] The Perpetual Page Turner – “Beautiful prose in this one as I’ve come to expect!” […]