Author: Elizabeth Scott
Catgeory: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 1-28-14
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? – Goodreads
Heartbeat centers around a very intriguing plot; a woman is kept alive in order to allow her fetus to develop to term. Emma and her step-dad are not on the same side of this decision. Emma feels sidelined and is drowning in pain and anger over her mother’s death. It is a torturous limbo Emma lives in because while they know that her mom is not coming back, she is not really gone. I thought Emma’s feelings were very well written. Her depth of emotion was so heartbreaking and the relationship between Emma and her step-dad as he showed patience to her anger, was heartbreaking, as well. Her feelings about her brother were understandably conflicted.
I think where this book faltered for me was in Emma’s relationship with Caleb. Caleb’s character was very undeveloped and while I understand his character’s place in the story, he didn’t seem like a real person to me. In addition, his parents were just as two dimensional and were demonized to the point of cliche. Unfortunately, that interaction overshadowed what happened between Emma and her step-dad, which seemed more critical to the story than the romance. Overall, I thought this book was a really interesting story with a lot of raw, honest emotion. Unfortunately, the romance felt manufactured and overshadowed the story in the second half of the book