Monday, March 30, 2015

Mini Reviews: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby and The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

From Goodreads: After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all. Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas - a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into 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 their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost ... and all that remains at stake.

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Having read Jessi Kirby’s previous novels, I knew what I’d be getting when I began Things We Know by Heart – a contemporary novel that’s easy to dive into. I wish, however, that Things We Know by Heart had focused a little less on the romance (which I enjoyed, despite thinking that both Colton and Quinn fell for each other quite quickly) and a little more on organ donation and on the thoughts and feelings of those involved, particularly because I liked both Quinn and Colton. Quinn’s grief felt very real to me and I could relate to her need for closure, whereas Colton stole my heart because of his kindness and appreciation for life. 

Things We Know by Heart will be released on April 21, 2015 by HarperTeen. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss. 
From Goodreads: Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world. When - after a heated argument - Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options - confess her deception or live her sister's life.  

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver was a book that turned out to be a disappointing read. Personally, I just couldn’t form an emotional connection with Ella because I didn’t understand her motivation for pretending to be Maddy. I mean, it’s understandable that her parents were joyous when they heard the news that Maddy survived – at least one of their daughters did. I have no clue though why Ella would assume that that meant that they wouldn’t be happy to hear that she, instead of Maddy, survived. As well, although the synopsis suggests that Maddy’s life was full of secrets, Maddy really only had one big secret, which unfortunately just wasn’t scandalous enough for me.

The Secrets We Keep will be released on by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on April 28, 2015.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Raincoast Books) for free.


  1. I'm starting the Things We Know by Heart this week Z and I'm excited! I'm guessing the fact that it's more romance focused than anything else is going to work well for me since I'm a sucker for that kind of thing, but I'm glad to see you at least enjoyed it overall:) I think I'm going to take a pass on The Secrets We Keep - the fact that she doesn't tell anyone she's not Maddy is already causing me stress and I haven't even read a single chapter:)

  2. I definitely agree with you, although I could see why the romance was such a major part of the book I would have liked to see more from the organ donation side, the quotes at the beginning of each chapter were extremely interesting and it would have been cool if they were elaborated more. Nice reviews!


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