Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Heartbeat
Author:  Elizabeth Scott
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen, 304 pages
Publication Date:  January 28, 2014
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
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?


Review:
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

12 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked this one. I've heard really mixed reviews. A lot of people didn't like it because the main character is so horrible to her step-dad. I picked up a copy at ALA so I'm sure I'll get to this eventually, but I'm kind of nervous about it. I'm actually surprised you liked this, not your usual type of read! :)

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    1. Yeah, it's definitely an "issue" book, but I've read a few that I've liked. And yes, the MC is pretty horrible, but it's also understandable. I did like the romance part of it more than the other part of it, but it was still a good read. ~Pam

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  2. It was definitely tough to see the MC treat her stepdad the way she did but like you mentioned, everyone handles grief differently and this poor girl wasn't going through the moving on phase yet because of the nature of what was still happening with her mom. I'm glad she came around in the end. A very raw and emotional book, for sure!

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    1. It was an emotional read, and such a controversial subject matter too. And it's hard to know how you would handle something like that, basically being in limbo. ~Pam

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  3. I really found this a tough read as well. The main character was just so hateful that unfortunately I found it difficult to relate. Great review! :)

    Is there a way to follow you through GFC? :)

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

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    1. I don't read too many issue type books, I usually read light and fluffy contemporary, so yeah, it was a tough read for me. She was pretty hateful but I also felt so bad for her in the situation.

      I need to look into GFC, haven't yet, sorry! ~Pam

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  4. Great review. I've been thinking of reading this one for a while now but keep changing my mind. It does sound good and I'm glad they portray it in a realistic way.

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    1. I thought it was written in a realistic way, nothing was easy and no one was really right and no one was really wrong. ~Pam

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  5. I am careful about reading too many grief books because they're so tough! But I do like books with angry characters, especially if I can understand their anger and get inside of it. Though I think I'd sympathize with Emma's stepdad too. a good bad boy always gets me, especially one who can bring on the swoon. I always like a good romance. Mmmm.

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    1. I'm the same way, I don't read too many grief type books, so this was definitely a different read for me. I usually stick to paranormal, dystopian, and fantasy, and when I read contemporary I mostly read light and fluffy books. The romance was my favorite part, I actually wish that had been more of the focus, but that wouldn't have made sense given the situation with the mom. ~Pam

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  6. Yeah, this doesn't sound like an easy read but I want to read it when I find a good time. I'll need to sandwich it between happy books!

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    1. Definitely read happy books before and after! ~Pam

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