Review: Heartbeat, by Elizabeth Scott

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Heartbeat, by Elizabeth Scott

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Publication: January 28, 2014, by Harlequin Teen

Format: Hardcover Edition (borrowed)

Goodreads Summary: 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?


   I've always loved Elizabeth Scott's books. She always creates a heart-pounding contemporary that deals with such subjects that many authors cannot even think to portray. She writes her books so beautifully and with such passion that you cannot deny that she's one of the best YA tragedy authors to this day.

   I cannot say that this is Elizabeth's best book, because it sure wasn't. In fact, this was one of the worst ones she written, comparing to the ratings that I've given for her others. That doesn't mean that this was horrible, it's just that it didn't gravitate to the level that I expected it to.

   I've been anticipating to read Heartbeat for a long time. Every book Elizabeth Scott writes comes with a whole new premise, and seeing this very unique one come to life in 304 pages was very beautiful to see and go through.

    Emma is going through a lot in her life. Her mom died because of becoming pregnant. She's tried drugs and many methods, and when she finally made it, she died reaching for a piece of toast. She had a stroke that killed her instantly, but not the baby boy growing inside her. So, her husband, (Emma's stepfather) Dan, decided to keep the baby alive by hooking Lisa, Emma's mother, to many machines that will keep his soon-to-be son living for a few more months before coming out into the real world. Emma is devastated as hell. We all would be, right? Your stepfather is keeping your dead mother hooked up because of a baby? He acts like a life of a baby is more precious than the one of his wife. And so, Emma cannot stand even looking at him and having to go on daily visits to the hospital to have a chat with her dead mom. Caleb Harrison, a known-druggie and car-stealer from her school, then witnessed Emma having these chats with her mom and unexpectedly... he can relate to her in many ways. They soon find a real connection and begin to have feelings for each other. 

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It didn't have the clearest plot out there (there were many misunderstandings) but it was good. By the end, I felt like it was all too-rushed and something large was missing and scrambled out of the plot, and that's why I was left thinking that nothing was happening in the 304 pages of this book. That was one of the biggest disturbances that this book created by the end for me.

      I loved and hated the concept. Sometimes I wondered what was the point of the book, and at other times, I loved it. I guess the main idea was Emma and her romance during the time of grief and loss. But since I didn't go mad for the romance here, I didn't see any large importance during this book.

       Emma took things too far. She was a selfish character. From the start, I knew that I was going to have a cat-fight relationship with her.

         I totally get where she was going at through the middle, but then she took things way too far. Her mom died, so why not save another life? It's sad to hear what happened, but it just angered me. And then in the end, she suddenly was all:

          When she was so moody and depressed before. I was all, "WHAAT?" until it was over.

          I liked Caleb fine, but the relationship between him and Emma was very weak and needed work on. It had the potential to become amazing, but they obviously aren't and weren't a power couple.

           Looking for a sad tragedy? Fast-paced book? Mystery? Then this book is a definite "yes" for you.

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