Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka - OPTIONAL

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka
, 308 pages. Candlewick Press, 2020. $18 

Language: R (53 swears, 6 “f”); Mature Content: PG (short make out session); Violence: PG (vivid car crash memories) 



17yo Chloe is practically perfect--gets good grades, cross-country star, on-track for college, until she lands at the top of the organ donor list due to a surprise heart defect. Now, she is anything but normal as she struggles to adjust to life with a new heart. Along with the new heart, she suddenly has all these memories that aren’t hers and she is pursuing hobbies that she never did before. Is she going crazy or is there another explanation? 

For the most part, the book was an enjoyable read about a teenager who had to adjust to a major setback. Her reactions to her new-health-conscious-helicopter parents and struggling to reconnect with her former peers and friends going on to college while she is left recovering were authentic and real. However, the book took an unexpected turn into magical realism and/or string theory towards the end that left me inexplicably sobbing but also confused? I enjoyed reading about 75% of this book, and the last 25% left me undecided. This book kind of reminded me of the movie Return to Me but with teenagers, surfing, and quantum physics. 

Reviewer: BookswithBeddes 

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