Heartbeat review

Heart Beat
By Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia

We just look at each other, and I don’t care that he’s gorgeous and screwed up. I care that he really gets what’s going on.
Sees it. Sees me.
Since her mother’s sudden death, Emma has existed in a fog of grief, unable to let go, unable to move forward- because her mother is, in a way, still there. She’s kept alive with machines for the sake of the baby growing inside her.
Estranged from her stepfather and letting go of things that no longer seem important- grades, crushes, college plans- Emma has only her best friend to remind her to breathe. Until she meets a boy with a bad reputation who spars something in her- Caleb Harrison, whose anger and loss might just match Emma’s own. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from her grief that has greyed her existence. Is there hope for like after death- and maybe, for love?

My review
Plot: You won’t be able to hold back the tears as you read this book. Emma was living the perfect life. She had an amazing family, consisting of her mother, stepfather and they were expecting another addition, had great grades that would could see her graduate valedictorian and off to one of the top ten colleges in the state and the best friend that anyone could ask for. Emma’s mother was completely fine one minute and then as she reaches for her toast, has a massive brain bleed and is pronounced brain dead. But when her stepfather is given the choice whether to turn the machines off that are keeping her mother alive or keep them on in hope of delivering the baby that she was carrying, and without consulting Emma, like with most stuff in the past, he makes the decision to keep her mother on the machines to give the baby the best chance. Her stepfather believes that he is making the choice that her mother would have wanted but Emma believes that he is wrong.
After her mother’s death Emma gives up on everything she thought she loved and needed.
So she falls into her grief until bad boy Caleb comes along. They seem to share the same grief and can understand where the other one is coming from. Will Caleb be able to help Emma deal with everything going on and accept things that need to be accepted?

What I liked about the book: I found it interesting that the author chose to write about a topic which hasn’t really been heard of too much. I certainly don’t think that I have heard of someone keeping a mother on ventilation machines so that they can carry their baby to when it is safe to deliver or to full term. I think if it was to happen there would be a lot of discussion about it and a lot of controversy about it. There would be people who would say that it’s wrong and that you don’t really know what the mother would want but then there would be people saying how can you kill an innocent baby that is living inside this person striving to survive. I think it would end up being in the same category of discussion as abortion. But that’s just my take on it.

What I didn’t like about the book: I hated how the book ended. I really wanted to know if everything turned out ok and what Emma would have done but I suppose that was how the author wanted to end it.

Favourite character: I think my favourite character would have to be Emma. At the start she is a crumbling mess and isn’t really living life, she is just going through the motions. But then once she meets Caleb she is able to finally talk to someone about everything that is going on and deal with a lot of things that have been bothering her, like not spending enough time with her mother before she died and whether her mother really wanted to have this baby or not. Once she starts sorting through everything she realises that not everything is the way that she sees it and that is something that pulls her up short. She goes through a massive change in this book and it was amazing to see how she was at the end.

Favourite part/quote: “When someone you love...when they die, you want it undone. You'd do anything to have them back, and it's easy to believe that if only this had happened or that had happened, everything would be fine. And that's what makes you angry. What makes you hate. You don't want to believe that sometimes bad things happen just because they do.”

Rating: 5/5