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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.
Praise for EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW
“Everything I Thought I Knew is a page-turning, mind-bending story of hope and healing. The reader will root for Chloe from page one as she navigates her world post–heart transplant and tries to meld her prior reality with her new one. I couldn’t put it down; it is a beautiful debut from a talented new voice in YA.” —Alexandra Ballard, author of What I Lost
The thoughtful balance of self-discovery, humor, and realistic relationships will bring in fans of John Green and Nicola Yoon. Readers looking for a good, cathartic cry will love Chloe’s journey from losing everything she thought she was, to finding the person she was meant to be. —School Library Journal
Romance and quantum physics intertwine in this frothy introduction to multiverse SF. —Kirkus Reviews
This is a satisfying soaper that combines pleasing romance with an enticing touch of the otherworldly. —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
How would you live your life if you got a second chance?
Chloe is an overachiever. She gets good grades, is on the track team, and is ready to accept her admittance to a prestigious college. But one day while practicing on the track field, her vision gets blurry, chest pain hits, and she collapses. Waking up in a hospital made her think heavily about what her future might hold. She soon finds out that she needs a heart transplant and she needs one fast. They bump her up the list.
After her transplant, everything changes for her. She finds herself interested in things that she never was before, like surfing. While stuck in summer school, she dreams of being on the beach and being in the ocean. Her instructor, Kai is another reason why she wants to be on the beach.
As more time passes, she starts breaking rules that she hasn’t before and finds herself skipping school to spend more time with Kai. But things are happening that are making her second guess everything. She keeps having nightmares of a motorcycle accident, seeing someone crying by her bedside while she was in the hospital, and knowing how to ride a motorcycle when she’s never driven one before. Things just aren’t adding up.
Is Chloe losing her mind? Or is she internally connecting to the person from who she got the heart?
The first eighty percent of this book is Chloe learning to live her life after having a heart transplant and then it took an odd turn that I wasn’t expecting. It made me reread parts of this book to help me better understand what was happening and it was stellar. I thought about how this was going to play out and for the most part, I was right but there was something that I didn’t catch that shocked me. My mind is still playing the last twenty percent of this book over and over again.
Everything I Thought I Knew was a great read. It deeply connects you with Chloe and her life before and after her transplant. It ended in a way where some questions weren’t answered but it doesn’t take away from the story. What we need more of is Kai! This story makes you take a long look at your own life. Are you living it to the fullest? And being the best you possible? It’s never too late to change for the better.
– 10 Winners will receive a Copy of EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW by Shannon Takaoka
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shannon Takaoka is a young adult fiction author who wrote her first book at age 12, when she blatantly ripped off C.S. Lewis with an epic fantasy inspired by THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. (Well, maybe it wasn’t that epic — do 10 pages count?) Madeline L’Engle, Charlotte Brontë, Neil Gaiman and a host of other authors inspired her lifelong love of reading, and she’s especially into all things gothic, weird and nerdy. If a story involves time travel, strange science-y stuff or alternate realities, she’s in.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Shannon now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two children and one very needy dog, who is probably leaning on her right now as she’s pecking away on her keyboard. Her debut novel, EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW, about a 17-year-old girl questioning everything about who she is and who she wants to be following a heart transplant, will be published by Candlewick Press on 10/13/2020 and Walker UK in 2021. She promises that it’s a little weird — but in a good way.