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  • Posted February 17, 2014

    I wanted to really like this one, because I had heard great thin

    I wanted to really like this one, because I had heard great things about this book and Elizabeth Scott's books in general. But I just could not get into it. There were quite a few moments when DNF-ing it would cross my mind, but the book was so short, it didn't seem worth it.

    I will say, I do not regret finishing it. It did mostly redeem itself towards the end, and it was still a pretty good story. The issue I had was with the main character, Emma. 

    I would also like to start off by saying, I could never imagine what Emma has gone through. Losing your mother, only to have her still there for the sake of the baby inside her. Seeing her, never getting closure. I can also understand why she would be so upset that Dan never asked her opinion on any of the choices made concerning her mom, because she was all her mother had until Dan came along. 

    That said, I just couldn't stand how bitter and hateful she was towards Dan, the baby, the world. I tried to understand that she was coming from a place of grief, but it still didn't help things. She's so caught up in herself, she fails to see that Dan is grieving too. But now, instead of grieving just his wife, he's also grieving the family he once used to have, now that Emma has turned into who she is. The things she would say to Dan were, I felt, unforgivable. 

    Most of the book was spent with Emma repeating the same things about how this isn't what her mother would have wanted, how Dan only cares about himself and the baby, how Dan only does what he wants, how no one understands, etc. But everything she said about her mother, how kind and loving she was, directly contradicts her firm belief that this isn't what her mother would have wanted. I felt that her mother would have wanted the baby to live, especially considering all she went through to simply conceive him. 

    I realize that high school is a tough time. I realize that teenager's emotions are really screwed up. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have to go through what Emma did. But there were still times when I wanted to slap her. 

    Caleb as the love interest was...okay. He wasn't particularly swoony or anything. He has his scars too, and I liked how he helped Emma with what she was dealing with, and she helped him. His family was pretty horrendous, and although I couldn't evoke much emotion for Emma, I could for Caleb.

    However, the writing was very well-done. Even as much as I disliked the characters, I have to agree with that. It flowed very smoothly, and kept even me interested enough to keep reading. It is for this reason that I will definitely check out more of Elizabeth Scott's work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley.)
    17-year-old Emma sees her dead mother every day – at the hospital where her body is kept alive by machines in order to incubate the baby she was pregnant with when she died.

    Emma blames her step-father Dan for the situation, because she believes that he chose to keep her mother alive for the sake of his son, something that Emma doesn’t agree with.
    Will the baby survive? Can Emma live with her mother being dead but not dead? And can she ever forgive her step-father for the difficult decision that he was forced to make?

    This was an unusual story, which raised moral questions, explored grief, and was ultimately very sad.

    Emma was a character that I both loved and hated. At times I understood where she was coming from, and the grief and anger that she was feeling, whilst at other times I just hated her for wanting her brother to die.

    The storyline in this book was really quite heart breaking. I understood the difficult decision that Emma’s stepfather had had to make, but I just didn’t get why Emma was so angry about it. I understood that her anger was part of her grief, but I just felt like her anger was misdirected. She continually blamed Dan for choosing ‘his son’ over her mother, when in reality it wasn’t a choice of one or the other! The choice was whether to let her mother die, or let both of them die, and I was just so upset by the way that Emma would rather her brother die, than have her mother kept alive for a few weeks to allow him to live.

    To be honest this book upset me. A lot. Why Emma thought that her brother should die, and why she thought that her mother wouldn’t have wanted her baby to survive I don’t know, but the thought that if it had been up to Emma she would have just switched the machines off and let both her mother and her brother die made me feel physically sick. Especially when she had been told that it wasn’t the pregnancy that caused her mother’s death.

    I don’t really want to think about this book anymore because I find it really quite depressing and sad. The ending was good, and we were left with hope that things would be better, but this whole story just makes me want to cry, and not in a good way. The idea that Emma would kill her little brother as some sort of retribution or revenge for her mother’s death was just sickening.
    Overall; emotional story about a girl overtaken by grief.
    6.5 out of 10.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Heartbeat is a novel that deals with grief. I can┬┐t imagine goi

    Heartbeat is a novel that deals with grief.

    I can’t imagine going through everything that Emma is going through. She has so much hate and anger that she needs to talk to someone but refuses to. I don’t like that she was so mean to her stepfather, but I can understand it. I’ve lost people that were very important to me, but not as a teen so I don’t know if I would have acted the same or not.

    There isn’t any action, or anything like that, in this book. Heartbeat takes you on a journey with Emma to try to handle feelings toward her stepfather, the baby, and the death of her mother. I didn’t like that there was a love interest. It felt like it was forced. They didn’t know much about each other, but had strong feelings toward the other. I love that Emma has a best friend that has stuck with her through everything. I think all people, not just teens, need a friend like Olivia.

    It was hard getting into a teen perspective for this read. Things that I wouldn’t do seem crazy coming from Emma. But again, I haven’t lost anyone in my teen years, so I can’t say that I wouldn’t have reacted the same way.

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  • Posted January 28, 2014

    When I say it took all of me to finish this book... It took a he

    When I say it took all of me to finish this book... It took a hell of an effort for me to finish it and the only reason I did was because I kept hoping against hope that she would grow up and change. Because most of what was going on was hurting me so much to read.
         Let's start off with what I DID like about this story. The writing style was amazing. All the emotions that Emma, Dan, Caleb, and Olivia went through are clearly shown throughout the novel. In some places their grief almost broke me down. In all honesty, if you can look past some things, it really is a gut wrenching story. And with it actually happening in the same state where I am, it makes it all too real.
        But the reality stops there. The reason I wanted to stop reading this was the MC, I HATED her. She was the most selfish, undeserving brat on the planet. She put Dan in such a bad position it was unreal. And then, it didn't matter what he said or did, she still hated him for it. She just didn't understand that Dan had lost someone too and she made EVERYTHING about her. Even when it shouldn't have been about her at all. I mean let's be honest.... You were upset because Dan didn't want to be all huggy huggy with you. Yes your mother just died, but his wife just died as well. He was in love with her. And he didn't ask you about keeping her alive to save the baby because (and correct me if I'm wrong) he's your brother and you should have been jumping up and down saying "YES SAVE HIM PLEASE!"
         And as for the romance, I felt it was a good one because they both found someone that was able to understand what they were going through, even if it was in completely different ways. But I didn't feel like it was believable. This completely broken person finds another completely broken person and turns them around from 70%-100% and that person completes a whole 180? Yeah I'm not sure about that. I just felt like it was a little insta-lovey for them not to know anything about each other, but you know he lost someone so you just up and start talking to him? I don't like it.
         This book wasn't normally one I would pick up. I had something completely different in mind for this story and it changed me. But please be prepared, if you don't have that much patience, this is not the story for you. The MC will ruin any chance you have of enjoying it.
    Overall, I give this

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