Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott.

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: January 28th 2014.
My rating: 3 stars 


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?

Heartbeat was my second book by Elizabeth Scott, and just from these two books it’s easy to see that Scott knows how to deal with Heart breaking family issues in a meaningful way. The story that Scott gives us in Heartbeat was definitely different from the reads I have picked up lately. Emma’s mum was brain dead, one minute she was fine making toast and the next she had collapsed. On top of having to cope with the loss, Emma’s stepdad decides to take it upon himself to make a big decision without consulting Emma. Emma’s mum was expecting and Emma’s stepdad decides he wants to keep her machine keeping her alive on until they can safely get the baby out. 

Emma was a strong willed individual, but also one that had a lot of feelings she was holding back; she hated her stepdad for not consulting her and thinking he knew best, she hated how she was always focused on her school work when her mum was around and she couldn’t spare a moment to relax and watch a film with her. How she knew her mum was worried about her pregnancy, but most of all how she didn’t have anyone who could understand what she was feeling. Emma did have her best friend in Olivia, but she didn’t want to burden her with her own problems; but rather would have listened to all the stuff that was happening in her life. 

I did really feel for Emma, it was hard having to visit her mum every day, despite her not being there anymore and not having the chance to say goodbye. But at times I did think Emma was a bit too hard on her stepdad. Okay he decided to make a major life decision without consulting Emma first, but Emma’s mum was gone and there was still a life inside waiting to come out which could possibly bring happiness and life to two people who really needed it. And he could be the only last reminder of their mum that they had. 

Scott explored the issue of grief extremely well in this story. We got to see just how grief could affect people differently; Emma dealt with her loss, by shutting down one of the most important relationships in her life. But she was able to find someone who had dealt with a lot of grief and who was still actually suffering from it who could understand her and be her pillar of support through this horrible time. And there was Dan Emma’s stepdad, both assumed they knew what Emma’s mum would have wanted, but he was trying to make the best out of the situation that they were left with. Things in Emma’s family were really tough. But in comparison to another family who was completely broken, I’m glad that Emma and Dan found a way to struggle through. 

Overall Heartbeat was another flawless and beautifully written story by Scott; she really did a great job in getting beneath the surface with our characters, and brings their feelings to the forefront of the story. Despite Scott writing about such a tough subject, I like how she leaves her stories with the idea that there can always be light at the end of a tunnel.



20 comments:

  1. Making such a decision must be one of the hardest things in the world. It's good to hear that Emma and Dan still found a way to deal with it :)

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  2. I agree that Emma was a little too harsh on Dan, poor dude! But I did get why she was so angry in the first place.

    Lovely review, Jasprit! <33

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  3. There have been a lot of mixed reviews for this one so I am still not sure whether I am going to pick it up (it has such a pretty cover thouggghh) but the relationship between Dan and Emma is definitely something that piques my interest. I mean I am pretty sure I am going to rage at Emma at some point but... I am curious to see how Dan handles the situation.

    Lovely Review, Jasprit!! :)

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  4. I thought the author did a great job exploring grief too. It really does affect people in such different ways and not always in ones that are easy to watch (or read about). I enjoyed reading this one and I'm glad you did too. :)

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  5. I love reading stories with tough issues and this one seems like it tackles it really nicely and exploring all the emotions. Though I'd be probably bothered by Emma as well. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one Jasprit. Great review :)

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  6. This sounds so sad! I do understand the stepfather's decision to keep the mother on machines to save the baby but, holy cow, what a completely traumatic experience for Emma!

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  7. I'm a little wary of this book. I know that one of these characters will drive me crazy. It's either Emma or the step dad. Lol. I can sort of see where each of them are coming from but I think the mother in me will eventually win.

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  8. Wonderful review, Jasprit! I really enjoyed this one and am making my way through Scott's backlist as her writing and characterizations are spot-on. I definitely need to pick up some of her more famous novels soon. I read Stealing Heaven, which was significantly more light-hearted than this, so hopefully I'll find more novels like that one soon.

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  9. I like the premise of this one. It deals with a very interesting issue, and one that I heard about in the news recently!

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  10. I actually really like the sound of this one, just because I haven't heard of a contemp with the same concept as this one. I love how Scott explores grief, showing how it affects people in different ways. I'm not sure Emma should have been so angry at her step-father, but I mean, when you're clouded in grief, sometimes things aren't as clear as they should be. I also think I'd be able to really relate to Emma- because sometimes I feel like all I do is study study study and never have time to be with my family or even breathe. I've been looking for a good contemp lately, and I think this will have to be one that I pick up soon!

    Lovely review, as always, Jasprit! <3

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  11. I have decided to skip reading my ARC as I have read so many mediocre reviews on this book. I just don't want to deal with the subject matter and the way she treats the stepdad. I am sure there are some beautiful messages in here, but not willing to wade through it.

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  12. I lov that cute cover! Omg, I have no clue what I'd do in Emma's situation. This sounds so different. Whoop! I'm glad that Emma finds someone to lean on. Ahh, this sounds like such a horrible situation. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Even though this wasn't a perfect read for you I'm so very glad that you enjoyed this, love!

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  13. I've seen mixed reviews for Heart Beat so it probably isn't a book I'd buy, but t does have an intriguing premise so maybe I'd read it if I saw it in the library or something. Thanks for the review, Jasprit!

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  14. Two books in two days with the same MC called Emma. Is that telling me something!? Haha! I saw this on Netgalley a while ago, and even though I was tempted to request it I wasn't sure if it was my sort of read. Facing tough issues such as these in this book can be difficult. But maybe the romantic/love aspect of the novel balances that. I may give this a go in the future. Brilliant review, Jasprit. :)

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  15. I like the sound of Emma, and I enjoy a good book about grief and how people deal with it, Jas :)

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  16. I too appreciate the process of grief that she showed in this one and bringing out different aspects of the characters emotions

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  17. I'm still unsure whether to read this one or not. Many that I've seen were polarizing, and a three star, in my dictionary, always means it was just... "okay". Not something to look forward to, but decent enough. Reading through your review though, it sounds like it's heavier than I expected. Grief is something that's hard for me to swallow in books like this... it affects me a whole lot, especially as I'm an emotional reader. Sucks that Emma was hard on the stepdad, though. I'm not sure what to feel about treating badly someone who doesn't deserve it :/

    Great review, Jasprit!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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  18. I've read a few dnf reviews for this one, so it's good to know that it worked for you. I usually avoid "dead parent" storylines because just the thought of grieving over a parent makes me cry. I just can't do it. It's relieving that Emma had someone to share her feeling with and not bottle them up. Thanks for sharing, Jasprit :)

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  19. This book sounds so good and so different to anything else out there but I've only seen just okay reviews which is a shame as I want so much more from this story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jasprit!

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  20. Awesome review. <3 I really like this cover. So gorgeous. I'm sorry you didn't fully love it, but happy that the writing was gorgeous. That makes me happy :) Thank you for sharing :D

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