Monday 7 June 2021

Book Review: Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka book cover

AD* | A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just a heart from her donor in this compulsively readable debut.

Seventeen-year-old Chloe had a plan: work hard, get good grades, and attend a top-tier college. But after she collapses during cross-country practice and is told that she needs a new heart, all her careful preparations are laid to waste.

Eight months after her transplant, everything is different. Stuck in summer school with the underachievers, all she wants to do now is grab her surfboard and hit the waves - which is strange, because she wasn’t interested in surfing before her transplant. (It doesn’t hurt that her instructor, Kai, is seriously good-looking.)

And that’s not all that’s strange. There’s also the vivid recurring nightmare about crashing a motorcycle in a tunnel and memories of people and places she doesn’t recognize.

Is there something wrong with her head now, too, or is there another explanation for what she’s experiencing?

As she searches for answers, and as her attraction to Kai intensifies, what she learns will lead her to question everything she thought she knew - about life, death, love, identity, and the true nature of reality.

Everything I Thought I Knew is heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure (no pun intended).

This is a story of hardship, challenges, and unimaginable struggles, yet ultimately, it is a tale about learning to find yourself again. When the chips are down, everything you think you know gets called into question.

Teenager Chloe is dedicated and determined to focus on her studies and get into a top college. However, when life throws her a curveball in the form of a serious heart condition, her whole life suddenly falls into chaos. Despite being fortunate enough to receive a heart transplant, Chloe struggles to find the positives in her situation. Everyone says she should count herself lucky - but she doesn't feel lucky with a stranger's heart beating inside her own chest. 

Chloe is nuanced and complex; relatable despite her rare situation. It's a pleasure to get inside her head and follow her journey to come to terms with her new heart. 

It's clear that plenty of research has gone into the story. Whether it's learning to surf or the medical science and recovery involved in a heart transplant, each unique aspect of the book is engaging and well thought out. It's insightful, thought-provoking, and excellently written.

Embracing themes as varied as philosophy and science, and love and relationships, Everything I Thought I Knew is an exquisite debut from a highly talented author. 

Rating: 5 stars

Everything I Thought I Knew is available to buy now. 

If you like the sound of this book, you might also enjoy...

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

No comments:

Post a Comment