Thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for the opportunity to read and review Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka! Damn good book! Mind-blowing, thought-provoking, and beautiful. Chloe has cardiac arrest while running during cross country practice. She’s always been healthy but the doctor found her heart defect after her heart attack. She’s placed on the transplant list and receives a heart on December 18th. Chloe’s life changed dramatically after her heart defect was found. She had good grades, college goals, and future plans. Now she has to attend summer school to catch up and, for some reason, she craves surfing. She buys a board and gets the phone number of a young man who gives lessons. His name is Kia. Chloe learns to surf and the two of them build a relationship together. She hunts down the donor of her heart and she questions everything she’s ever known. A magnificent story, 5 stars!
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter. Leah is awaiting a heart transplant and in the meantime she’s being tutored and doing her schoolwork at home with her teachers’ help. Leah’s story (first person point of view) alternates with the (third person point of view) story of twins, Matt and Eric, who are still reeling from the loss of their father. One of the twins tutors Leah for extra credit on a day that the math teacher cannot make it. Leah is unsure which twin it is and confesses that she’s had a crush on Matt for years. I’m not sure how much time passes before Eric ends up dying in the hospital from a gunshot wound. Leah’s family receives a call from the hospital letting them know a heart is available for her transplant. She discovers that she’s received Eric’s heart and she keeps this information to herself. Eventually Leah and Matt talk about the transplant and how they’ve both been having dreams about Eric’s death and believe that it wasn’t suicide. In the dreams, they hear a voice other than Eric’s and they also see how Eric was running from something before he was shot. The mystery progresses and finally Detective Henderson sees proof of foul play. The main point of the book is to experience the process of needing a transplant, receiving one and learning to embrace life all over again. The author shares her family’s experiences with transplants at the end of the book. These experiences brought this story to life. 4 stars for the strength and perseverance shown by the main characters!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read Other Breakable Things by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood! The beginning dropped my heart into my stomach. Immediately after, the story goes back three years and shows a mother waking her son, Luc, because there’s a heart available for his needed transplant. Back to the present beginning with Chapter One and Evelyn’s point of view. Then the chapters alternate between Luc and Evelyn. Evelyn has returned to town with her mother and, once again, they live with Evelyn’s grandmother. Luc and Evelyn were friends three years ago and when she moved away they kept in touch fairly well, until the past four months when Luc hadn’t replied to any of Evelyn’s emails. Luc has been dealing with transplant recovery and therapy but he doesn’t want Evelyn to pity him, so he doesn’t explain this to her. He has kept his sickness from her and she has no idea why he doesn’t feel well and no idea that he has undergone transplant surgery. While reading, we learn about what Luc has been through and what Evelyn’s life has been like. They have both kept things from each other. Now they try to rekindle their friendship and both want to be more than just friends, but they are afraid of scaring the other one off if they share their secrets. Luc doesn’t feel that it’s fair to Evelyn to become involved when he’s not sure how long he will be around and Evelyn has always kept her problems to herself. Little by little, they overcome their obstacles and are able to spend time together on an adventurous road trip to Oregon. I grew to love Luc and Evelyn and cared for their future together. Other Breakable Things is a wonderful love story with a heartfelt touch and appreciation for how short life can be; 5 stars!