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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.
On sale October 13, 2020 #everythingithoughtiknew
HC: 978-1-5362-0776-7 • $17.99 ($23.99 CAN)
Also available as an e-book and in audio
Age 14 and up • 320 pages

“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
A Note from Shannon Takaoka

As a writer and reader, I’m drawn to stories that bend the boundaries of genre,
mashing up elements of the realistic and the speculative without fitting squarely
into one category or box. I’m thinking of books like Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap or
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman—books that ask interesting
“What if?” questions; that explore our hopes, our fears, and the mysteries of
life, love, and loss; and that make us think about what, exactly, makes us who we
think we are. I got the idea for Everything I Thought I Knew after I heard a story
about organ recipients who felt like they’d inherited habits and memories from
their donors. Whether or not this concept of “cellular memory” is even possible,
I couldn’t stop thinking about how strange it must be to know that a part of
you—in fact, a part that’s essential to your life itself—once belonged to someone
else. So I started writing, and then I just kept asking “What if?”, following the
questions to Chloe, and Kai, and Jane, and wherever else they wanted to lead.
I love where it all ended up and hope you will, too.

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.

Photo by Laura Reoch