Everything I Thought I Knew

Candlewick. Oct. 2020. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536207767.
Gr 9 Up–Chloe’s senior year is everything she planned: cross-country team, extracurriculars, and AP courses to ensure she gains entrance to one of her top schools. But she didn’t plan to receive a heart transplant. Now instead of graduating with her best friend and academic rival, she is attending GED classes with people she would never have talked to. Drawn to the dark and dangerous Jane, Chloe ventures into a world of rule-breaking and limit testing. And she can’t explain the strange memories—if they are real memories—that haunt her. There’s also the man who was crying in her hospital room post-surgery, but the hospital swears there were no outside visitors. Is Chloe losing her mind? Could the memories belong to someone else? Part self-discovery, part scientific mystery, Takaoka weaves a story that keeps the pages turning and the heart stirring. Chloe must overcome a life-changing event while navigating changing friendships, newfound love, and her place within the world. She is forced to reassess the things she valued and realize that not every success in life is contingent on course schedules and college acceptance letters. This is a great choice for readers who seek heavier content, but may not be ready for older YA material. The thoughtful balance of self-discovery, humor, and realistic relationships will bring in fans of John Green and Nicola Yoon.
VERDICT 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.

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