Sep 30, 2013
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 2014
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Life. Death. And…Love?
Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.
But Emma can’t tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.
Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn’t have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.
Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?
Heartbeat was an emotional book, and I absolutely loved every second of it. The last few novels by Elizabeth Scott have failed to pull me in, but this one did.
Poor Emma has had a rough couple of months. First her mother has a clot in her brain and dies, then her step-father puts her mother on life support without even asking Emma, and then Emma discovers it is to keep the baby alive. I can understand Emma’s anger at Dan, and it is misplaced but I can understand. It had always been Emma and her mother, they welcomed Dan into their lives. Now Dan is the one making decisions and acting like Emma shouldn’t have a say. I never believed that Emma’s mom wouldn’t have wanted to be kept alive for the baby. It was a terrible thing for Emma to have to continue to see her mom dead but alive. However, I never thought that was a reason to act the way she did. Ultimately though it was believable because you can’t always logic your way through emotions. Emma was scared because she thought Dan was going to send her away, and while he was going through the motions he also wasn’t acting like he cared about Emma.
Caleb is a different story, he had made some terrible decisions in his life. They all stemmed from losing his little sister and the fact his parents blamed him. I don’t understand parents who blame their children. Would it have been any better to lose him? No, it would’ve been just as terrible and maybe if you had been decent parents then your children wouldn’t have been looking after themselves. After hearing about how his parents treated both children growing up it made me want to vomit. A diet at age 3? How is that okay? Encourage playing outside and exercise, but don’t restrict what they eat. That’s a terrible thing to do, and no wonder Caleb didn’t want to fight with his sister about a helmet.
This book dragged me in and made me love these characters. They were so damaged but so perfect for each other. Heartbeat encapsulated how terrible these situations are and what the feelings and emotions must be like. I felt so bad for both of these characters at different times. I loved that by the end Emma had grown and changed, but that Caleb finally had someone who understood how much something like that changes you.
I really debated giving this book 4 out of 5 stars, but in the end I couldn’t explain why. I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars, it stuck with me for at least a week after I read it. I’m still passionate about what these characters went through. I can’t wait for the next Elizabeth Scott novel if it ends up being anything like this.
5/5 – MUST READ, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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Happy Reading Everyone!