Friday, January 03, 2014

Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Heartbeat
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Release date: January 8th 2014
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: BEA - I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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?
My rating:  4 out of 5 stars

I love Elizabeth Scott. Her writing is so versatile - I will read her books no matter what genre, and they will always be good. It's impressive how Elizabeth Scott's writing can adapt to so many different styles, going from emotional to lighthearted and back again. And of course, the writing is what's best about Heartbeat, too - it is absorbing and reads quickly and gives so much heartfelt emotion to this story.

I'm not sure what to make of the characters in Heartbeat. I disagreed with Emma about 90 percent of the time, but I did understand her. The same goes for the secondary characters - there's no one I really identified with or even liked, but Elizabeth Scott always made me understand where they were coming from and even feel for them.

The idea for the family storyline is great. It's a fascinating concept, to think about what decision to make in a situation like this one. Like I said, I didn't agree with Emma, but I didn't agree with her stepdad either; it was hard to try to decide whose side I would be on in a situation like this.

The romance storyline is okay. I didn't love it as much as the family part of the novel, but I did enjoy it. I liked the concept, and I liked getting to know Caleb. But I think the relationship between Caleb and Emma could have used some more depth, more of a connection asides from the grief.

Heartbeat isn't my favorite of Elizabeth Scott's books, but I did really enjoy it. With evocative writing, dynamic characters, and a unique idea, Heartbeat is another solid read from Elizabeth Scott.


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