Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Harlequin Teen, 304 pages
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
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?
A thought-provoking and emotional novel about grief, hope, and love. Emma is so angry in this book and I really felt for her, but I also felt bad for Dan, her stepfather. Emma was so horrible to him, and I understood her anger, but he was also grieving and honestly trying to do what he thought was right. People definitely grieve in different ways, and Emma deals by lashing out. She goes from being a straight A student to failing all of her classes. She is bitter and so angry. Losing her mother makes her question everything she thought was important to her. Why did she do homework instead of spending time with her mom, the last night she was alive?
“I always thought of grief as a blow that took everything out of you. And it is like that. But it stays, past that first hard hit. It stays and blows its breath into you.
It's always there, reminding you of what you've lost. What's gone.”
And then she meets Caleb. My heart broke for Caleb. What he went through, what he continues to go through, was so tragic and painful to read about. I absolutely loved him, and he needed someone in his life who loved him and accepted him, faults and all. I do wonder whether there is a happily ever after for him. I sure hope so. Although he is described as a bad boy, and he is in a way, it's not the typical obnoxious YA bad boy, which was a refreshing change. There were definitely sweet and swoony moments between he and Emma and, to be honest, those were my favorite parts of the book.
Although this was not an easy read because of the premise, I did appreciate Heartbeat for portraying a difficult subject matter in a realistic way.
Posted by: Pam