Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1277
Everything I Thought I Knew
(Updated: August 04, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super-achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high school and gets a new heart. Takaoka nails the stress and pressure on some teens who go overboard with their high school academics in order to get into that 'right' university. Chloe is very determined and driven. Her whole life has been planned in advance, until that fateful day when everything changes.

Things change once Chloe gets a new heart. Her best friend Emma moves on and graduates from high school while Chloe has to take summer school classes. But that's not all. Chloe 'sees' things that make her question her own sanity. For a girl who is big into science, none of this makes sense. I really liked how Chloe struggles with her new 'norm', which includes becoming friends with Jane, the resident bad girl and supplier of pot. Also Chloe has an overwhelming urge to surf. She ends up getting Kai, a really cute surfer, to help train her every Wednesday.

I loved the chemistry between Kai and Chloe. Readers can sense that there's something magnetic going on with these two. There's also subtle hints on the 'reality', which is heartbreaking, but also one that Chloe needs to face up to in order to move on with her own life.

There's a fantasy twist toward the end that kind of felt 'forced' to me. But once I continued reading, it all kind of made sense. Chloe is huge into physics and the idea of string theory, which asserts that there are multiple universes out there. Fascinating and also a big insight into a complicated situation that's not all black or white.

Engaging, page-turning story where a heart transplant patient questions everything she felt she knew in life and finds the courage to embrace her new reality.
Good Points
1. Intriguing plot of a seventeen-year-old heart transplant patient
2. Engaging, heart-breaking
3. Fantasy twist toward end
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