By Elizabeth Scott
Published by Harlequin TEEN, 2014
304 pages (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? (from NetGalley.com)
Maybe it is the fact that I am pregnant. Maybe it is the fact that I recently attended the wake of a neighbor/father of a childhood friend who died in a terrible accident at their home. Maybe it is the fact a few former students have died or been injured recently. Or maybe it is the fact that Elizabeth Scott is a fabulous author. In any case, Heartbeat was a gripping tale that reached into the depths of Emma’s sorrow without making her seem too whiny or angry.
The one thing in this book that frustrated me (and frustrates me about a lot of YA books) was the lack of adult supervision/competent adults. Seriously. Not all adults (including teachers) are clueless and there are plenty of adults who would find a way to connect and work with some of these teens that are having such serious issues and family problems. Arg!
While Caleb and Emma were adorable, I think Olivia was my favorite character. She was quirky and a ridiculously loyal and loving BFF. Olivia grounded the book in a way that made it believable and not all doom-and-gloom.
So, in January, definitely pick this book up. Really.