Everything I Thought I Knew (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A life lost is a life saved in Shannon Takaoka’s thought provoking and sweetly romantic book about Chloe, an ambitious teen ready to make the leap from high school to the college of her dreams. When her own heart gives out during cross-country practice due to a cellular defect, she receives a new one from a donor whose family prefers to stay anonymous. After a long recovery, not only is Chloe stuck in summer school, isolated from friends who’ve graduated, but weirdly enough, she’s consumed with surfing, a sport she never once gave a thought to before her new heart. As her relationship with her instructor, Kai, deepens into something more, and college no longer feels as important as catching waves, Chloe questions her reality, wondering if receiving a new heart changed her to a new person. But we all question our dreams at some point, especially as teens, don’t we? Old interests fade, and new ones take their place. Everything I thought I Knew goes a step further with a brilliant plot twist and a gasp-out-loud ending that fits the story perfectly. Shannon Takaoka writes with such empathy for her characters, making Chloe’s journey of self-discovery impossible to put down until you turn the last page.


— Jenny Chou


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.

About the Author

Shannon Takaoka has worked as a writer, editor, and public relations consultant in the technology and life sciences field. She is a lover of all things nerdy—from time travel to weird science and dragons. Everything I Thought I Knew is her first novel. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children.

Praise For…

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

[D]ebut author Takaoka weaves a compelling tale of following one’s instincts and for connections that outlast physical life.
—Publishers Weekly

With its high stakes, sci-fi bent, great surfing scenes, love story, and emotional ups and downs with family and friends, this book is a page-turning pleaser for many different kinds of readers.
—Common Sense Media
Product Details
ISBN: 9781536207767
ISBN-10: 1536207764
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: October 13th, 2020
Pages: 320
Language: English