Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Publication Date: January 28th, 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
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?
Wow. This book made me feel all the feels!!! Heartbeat contained beautiful writing, realistic and sympathetic characters, and a little sprinkling of tears and laughter. I listed Heartbeat on my Favorites Shelf on Goodreads. I only have 22 books on that list, and all the books more than deserve to be there. So, congratulations to Heartbeat!
I loved how Elizabeth Scott portrayed the main character, Emma. I know for a fact that some readers did not like Emma. However, to me, she behaved realistically and I connected to her at once.
At the beginning of Heartbeat, Emma had just lost her mother. She was confused, grieving, and a teenager. Emma blamed the death on her stepdad and the coming baby. To me, I think this illustrated a very important point. When something bad occurs, a lot of people want to find a reason for the tragedy, they need someone or something to blame. However, you have to learn that sometimes no one is to blame, and that you can’t change the past.
Emma was very infuriated when she learned that her technically dead mother’s body is being kept “alive” to give birth to her baby. I can’t imagine going to the hospital and seeing a relative or friend be right there with a seemingly healthy body, but really be gone, completely brain dead. Emma often went to talk to her mom, which was quite emotional for me. Also, this book influenced me to research and think about the ethics of keeping a dead person “alive” in a hospital.
The romance was really awesome too. Caleb had his own tragic story, like Emma. Only, in his story, he was the one being blamed. Also, he didn’t feel the cut-out, cliche “bad boy” we see relentlessly in YA nowadays. Caleb had a lot of substance, and he and Emma complimented each other well. They seemed to understand each other in a way that is essential to keep a relationship intact.
Overall, I loved this book. It tells a story that is not a standard one. Yet a lot of people will relate to Emma’s feelings. We’ve all felt unbearably mad, sad, or confused at one point in our life. Also, the romance was awesome. Although it isn’t the main plot of the story as the cover suggests. Along with the sad parts, Heartbeat also has fun and hopeful parts. The book was the perfect contemporary read!