Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
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?
First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Harlequin Teen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
The title of this novel fits with the story. The heartbeat of Emma’s unborn brother’s heart. But the thing that made my heart stop was Emma and her mean self. I understand that she’s grieving and that this novel is very sad but the amount of anger and just plain apathy I felt towards this book makes it a bad one and if I could go back, I wouldn’t read it.
From beginning to end, Emma is a complete bitch to her stepfather. Time and time again, he is nothing but nice to her but she treats him as if he is a disgusting monster because of his choice. Although I don’t agree with his choice, I also don’t agree with Emma and her constantly telling him, “you don’t love me or mom. You only used her,” etc. I also had a problem with the romance since it felt forced to me and I had a hard time believing it. This could have been because of the very simple and detached writing style or because of Emma herself. I’m not quite sure.
However, the only thing that I really enjoyed about heartbeat is Olivia and her unique personality. She hates technology (for the most part) and lives without it, something that many people couldn’t never do. Her characterization is refreshing and interesting and I enjoyed the story more whenever she’s around.
Heartbeat could have been great. Albeit it’s a very typical story, Elizabeth Scott adds a nice twist to it with the unborn born child and I found that part very interesting. Unfortunately, because of how dislikeable the main character is, I couldn’t really enjoy this. I only recommend this to people who don’t mind mean main characters, a forced romance, and a typical story.