Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Published January 28th 2014
by Harlequin Teen
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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 have a love/hate relationship with this book. It's just one of those books that make you feel so many things. I really wanted to feel emotional for the main character Emma. Because she was having a hard time dealing with her mom's death. And I get that she's grieving but I just couldn't. But her attitude towards her stepfather and her mom being put on life support to save her baby brother's life was outright selfish. She didn't care that her stepfather was in pain and her baby brother was fighting for his life.
Her attitude was such a turn off, that I wonder if the author (whom I love) wrote Emma that way on purpose. To have conflicted feelings for her. As much as I understand that she's grieving, I just couldn't bring myself to want to console her. She lashes out at anyone who tries to help her. She really couldn't get a grip on her feelings enough to rationally think of the reason behind her mom being on life support. She viewed her baby brother as the thing keeping her mom alive.
The only person that was able to get to Emma was Caleb. A bad boy going through the same feeling of loss. And his only way of dealing with it is to steal cars and act up. So they connected through that. For some reason Caleb wasn't the bad boy I expected. He seemed more of a boy that's hurt than a bad boy. I actually liked him a lot more than Emma. And even though I didn't connect to Emma, I was glad that she found Caleb because he was able to help her through her grieving process.
I appreciate that Elizabeth was able to write a character so bent on anger. She wrote her so well that I did feel conflicted. I knew her anger was based on grief. But I just couldn't like her attitude at all. Her stepfather loved her and was grieving too. And she didn't care. It's weird how a book can be written so well but you can dislike the characters so much. I give Heartbeat a 3.5 stars.