Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

By: Elizabeth Scott
Pub. Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 226
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

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?

This is the first book that I have read from Elizabeth Scott and wow can she pack an emotional punch! From the first page I was an emotional wreck. At only 240 pages you don't think that the author will be able to really develop the characters in a way that they deserve, but Scott is very talented, and the characters were written wonderfully.  They were realistic and broken and I just wanted to give them a big, fat, bear hug.

Emma's mom is in a coma and is only being kept alive because she has a baby inside of her. Because of this choice, Emma completely hates her stepfather, who really is the only father that she knows. This made me so sad and I had to keep remembering that Emma is only a teenager who just lost her mom. You can tell that her stepfather is not a bad guy, that he is just trying to do what is right in an impossibly hard situation. I hated how Emma treated him because of it. Emma was so lonely and so sad and there were many times that I had to put the book down and get my feelings in order.

I loved misunderstood bad boy Caleb! If I thought Emma's pain was hard, Caleb's pain was unbearable. I felt everything this sad, broken boy was feeling and it killed me. Especially when I saw what an amazing and sweet person he really was, but he is completely alone, even in the same room as his parents. His scenes were hard to read and must have been unbearable to write.

Emma and Caleb had such a beautiful connection and they really helped each other through their pain. They were able to understand each others grief, since they both have lost loved ones and in turn, so much more. I wanted so badly for things to be ok, but Heartbeat was a realistic story and in real life things don't always end up happily ever after.

I wish this story was a little longer, but only because I wanted more of the beautiful writing and story. I am excited to read more from Scott! 

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