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Summer Reading 2021: Everything I Thought I Knew

Why Kari picked Everything I Thought I Knew

Normally, my suggestion for a summer read is a book I read and loved. This year, though, the book is brand new to me, so we'll be discovering it together. My friend who reads constantly (seriously, I've never known anyone who reads more) mentioned it many months ago and it stuck in my head. Everything I Thought I Knew is by a local author, is a story with some mystery and some big emotions, features a teenage protagonist, AND takes place in San Francisco. I mean, what's not to like? 

Seventeen word plot summary: after receiving a heart transplant, a girl wonders what else she might have inherited. Plus, there's surfing.  Let's read it.

About Everything I Thought I Knew

Everything I Thought I Knew

by Shannon Takaoka


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. - Goodreads

​​​​​​Romance and quantum physics intertwine in this frothy introduction to multiverse SF. - Kirkus Reviews

About the reader

  Kari Kiernan, Assistant to the Head of School

Past picks by Kari:

  • Room With a View by E.M. Forster
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
  • The Witch Elm by Tana French