Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Things We Know By Heart

Things We Know By Heart
by Jessi Kirby
From the publisher:
"When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

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."

The movie Return to Me (which I can't even type without singing the song in my head), has been one of my top favorite chick flicks of all time for a lot of years. When I saw the synopsis of this book I was hoping for a teenage Return to Me . It did remind me of that, but it didn't pack the emotional punch that the movie did. Sure it is fun to read about teenagers who think their love will last forever and that there has never been a love like theirs, but realistically we all know that doesn't happen very often. However, the author did a wonderful job of drawing me in and making me care about the main character and feel her pain. The romance between Quinn and Coleton was sweet and touching (for most of it) and believable. They were both keeping secrets from each other, so that kept the tension going throughout the book. I loved that both of the characters had strong families who were there for them through all of their pain. 
All in all I quite liked it, but now I need to go rewatch my movie for the thousandth time.

Areas of concern:
*A handful of mild cuss words.
*A sex scene between teenagers that spoke of a bra coming off and fingers being run over scars and laying on top of each other kissing - then fade to black. I was so disappointed because before that happened it was a very clean read.
*Brief thoughts of suicide. 

Suggested Ages: (quite differing opinions on this one)
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 11-16 
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 14+
School Library Journal - Grades 8+

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