Wed, January 15, 2014

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott Review

Heartbeat book cover

Heartbeat book cover

Heartbeat
By Elizabeth Scott
Publication date: Jan. 28, 2014
Harlequin Teen, 304 pages
Source: Publisher

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?

— Goodreads.com description

Oooh, Elizabeth Scott, you’re getting so dark and twisty lately and I have to say I love it.

Don’t let the short page count fool you: Heartbeat really jammed a lot of feeling into a few pages.

This book is one big ethical dilemma: Emma’s mom is brain-dead. And pregnant. Without discussing it first, her stepdad decides to keep her on life support. Emma thinks that was the wrong choice.

The beautiful thing about this book is that you might have your own personal feelings about the matter, but you can totally “get” why each character feels the way they do.

It’s a tough read, for sure, but it’s balanced out by a sweet romance. Emma and Caleb both need to heal, and they can help each other do that. There’s some friendship issues, too, but three cheers for Olivia for being a book bestie who doesn’t suck.

I’m a longtime escott fan (as I think of her in my head), but I have to say she’s really kicked it up a notch with Miracle and now Heartbeat. What’s next? Whatever it is, it’s on autoread.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: death, elizabeth scott, family, friendship, romance
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20 Comments

  1. Alexa S. said:

    I’ve been holding on to a review copy of this one for a long time now, and I MUST get to it soon. It sounds like such a different contemporary story, and I like that it sounds like it was well-fleshed out in terms of plot.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    It’s a super short book too — not a big time commitment. Def give it a go!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  2. Ginger @ GReads! said:

    I agree about Olivia, I thought she was an excellent best friend. The rest of the book.. I don’t know lol. My review goes up tomorrow, ha.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I guess we can’t always agree on EVERYTHING

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  3. Kyle @ A Reader’s Pensieve said:

    Heartbeat sounds really interesting! I like the ethical dilemma aspect of it, especially since there is something like that going on in Texas right now. Looking forward to hopefully getting this from the library!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I just saw that in the news this week too — very similar!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  4. Tara said:

    Once I get back into a good frame of mind (Code Name Verity, you know) this one is on my list.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    HAHA yeah, you don’t want too many serious books back-to-back!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  5. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader said:

    I’m still not certain this is the right book for me and find myself constantly vacillating between desperately wanting to read it and wanting to avoid it at all costs. I will say that I admire Scott for tackling such difficult subject matter, and was reminded of this novel yesterday when I saw a news article about this very issue. A man is petitioning to have his wife removed from life support because she has been deemed brain-dead, yet the hospital is refusing to do so on the grounds of protecting the child she’s carrying. Difficult though it may be to read about, Scott’s courage in tackling such a relevant topic is really admirable. I’ll also say that you’re the first person I’ve seen mention the friendship between Emma and Olivia, and this increased my interest in the novel as I’m always on the lookout for stories that include positive female friendships. Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait! comes immediately to mind, but I find this sort of thing is unfortunately few and far between. I’m so appreciative that you examined this novel from an entirely new perspective!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I LOVE Audrey, Wait. Totally agree — there needs to be more positive female friendships in all forms of media…books, TV, movies…

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  6. Rebecca @ The Library Canary said:

    I’m glad to hear you liked this one. I’ve been reading a lot of negative/mediocre reviews lately. A lot of people aren’t enjoying it because they say Emma is really awful and mean to her step-dad. But the plot just sounds so interesting and so good that I want to read it and love it. So it’s nice to read an opposite opinion. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I’ve seen reviews calling that out too — and they’re right. She is truly awful to her stepdad. But what I do appreciate about the book is that the stepdad makes mistakes too. And so even though I thought Emma’s reaction was extreme, I could at least understand her reaction (especially from a teen). I liked that I didn’t agree with anyone’s actions and could sort of see why they were acting the way they were — it’s nice to read a book and not automatically take sides, ya know? It expanded my perspective!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  7. Sue said:

    Can’t wait to read this!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Hope you like it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  8. Cassie G said:

    I’m currently reading this, about halfway through, and I’m so glad you’ve read it! I wanted to talk with someone about it but no one had picked it up because of negative reviews.

    Just because Emma is not friendly toward her stepdad is no reason for the book to be rated badly.

    And this book deals with huge issues, and I am constantly struggling as I’m reading this about how to feel and what to think. I am definitely impressed with escott (how i know her too) and this most recent book from her. So far, definitely recommended to others.

    (And I TOTALLY agree about Olivia! Thank goodness!)

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    OMG thank you Cassie — it’s really like you read my mind here.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  9. Early Review: Heartbeat (Elizabeth Scott) | studentspyglass said:

    […] Other Reviews of Heartbeat: A Lot like Dreaming | The Book Babe’s Reads | Anna Reads […]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  10. Jenn said:

    Wow, this book sounds intense and awesome. I love the idea of tackling such huge, controversial issues.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Give it a chance — I’d love to know what you think!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

  11. Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott | wrapped up in books said:

    […] Anna Reads: “It’s a tough read, for sure, but it’s balanced out by a sweet romance. Emma and Caleb both need to heal, and they can help each other do that. There’s some friendship issues, too, but three cheers for Olivia for being a book bestie who doesn’t suck.” […]

    Posted on: Wed, January 15, 2014

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