Welcome to Mini Reviews Monday, a She Latitude weekly feature! This is for those books that don’t really require a full-fledged review and is a way for me to really just take note and keep track of all the books I’m reading. This week’s books are Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.
Things We Know By Heart | Jessi Kirby (2015)
Young Adult, Contemporary | 304 pages | ★★☆☆☆
What it’s about: A girl (Quinn) meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s (Trent) donated heart (Colton). Her falling in love with him complicates everything, given their circumstances.
What’s good: Quinn’s grandmother is a badass old woman with messages young ladies should listen to. I identified with Quinn at some parts, and it was quite sad to see how difficult she found it after Trent died.
What’s bad: The romance felt forced and awkward, and I wasn’t really taken by any of the characters. The ending line is really, really cheesy and it made me cringe. The premise is kind of iffy too, personally—I just couldn’t get over that Quinn and Colton are related by her dead boyfriend’s heart. It’s a bit weird, to say the least.
Verdict: A bit too cheesy for my tastes. Recommended for those who enjoy bittersweet, potentially tear-jerking YA romances.
Since You’ve Been Gone | Morgan Matson (2014)
Young Adult, Contemporary | 449 pages | ★★★☆☆
What it’s about: A girl (Emily) picks up the pieces after her best friend (Sloane) and main pillar of support disappears without a word. She meets a boy (Frank), gets a job, makes new friends, and grows out of her shell a little bit.
What’s good: It’s engaging right off the bat. I love books with a bit of a mystery, and in this one, it’s Sloane’s disappearance. Emily, our main character, is shy and a little bit spineless at first, but she grows stronger and more likeable as the story goes. When she makes a mistake, she gets called out for it and suffers some consequences, which is great. There’s also a cat named Godot.
What’s bad: The ending was a bit too abrupt and convenient for my taste. It didn’t tie up all the necessary loose ends. I also felt like Emily suffers from some sort of extreme shyness or fear of people, and it’s irritating that her parents were always neglectful and never really aware of what’s going on in their kids’ lives.
Verdict: Enjoyable. I’ll read it again. Recommended for those who love stories where friendship, not only romance, plays a big part in character development.