Customer Reviews for

Heartbeat

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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(7)

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  • Posted March 6, 2015

    I am an Elizabeth Scott fangirl from way back.  Her books are so

    I am an Elizabeth Scott fangirl from way back.  Her books are so deep and emotional, the characters so raw and real, that I devour each and every one of her books.  This one was no different.




    I loved Heartbeat from the first page.  Emma's feelings about losing her mother are heartbreaking.  The way she chooses to handle that grief is just as heartbreaking.  She blames her stepfather and his baby for her mother's death, since he has chosen to keep her mother alive on machines in order for the baby to have a chance to grow to a point whee he can be safely delivered and have a chance at life.  Emma's grief has warped he perceptions into a belief that her stepfather only cares about the baby.  Some of the scene between the two of them are horrifyingly sad.  As a reader, you wish you could reach through the pages and hug them both, explain to them that they should be leaning on each other.




    Enter Caleb.  I loved Caleb as a character.  I'm a big fan of tortured heros, and he definitely fits the description.  He does have a bad reputation and has done some pretty bad things, but when Emma begins to know him and discovers the source of these actions, the two of them are able to understand each other better than anyone else possibly could.  Their growing relationship is the catalyst to healing for the both of them.




    This story was emotional, as are all of Elizabeth Scott's books.  I flew through it, the pacing was so good, and I felt very deeply for each of these characters.  I loved this story and would highly recommend it, and all of her books!

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  • Posted May 11, 2014

    I got an eARC of this book to review. I *might* have put off rea

    I got an eARC of this book to review. I *might* have put off reading this until the last minute. But! The book was a nice surprise. It was a fast read that managed to put my emotions out of whack. It was touching and sweet.  There was not too much nor too little of anything. It's a read that may be difficult for some people, but is definitely worth it!




    The main character is Emma. She feels fairly pathetic to the average eye, but you have to keep in mind that her mother died only a few weeks before. While you're reading, it might seem like longer, but it's really not. Before her mother died, Emma was obsessed with her grades, and would blow off family time so as to work on homework. She had her life planned out, which is a good thing, up to a point. Emma continually succumbs to the darkness that her mother's death has left in it's wake, but she begins to grow stronger about halfway through the book. The main issue of the book is that her stepfather is keeping her mother's dead body alive so that their unborn child can survive. But Emma feels as if he cares more about the baby than her mother. Emma and her stepfather are constantly bashing heads. I believe that, when it comes down to it, her stepfather is a good guy who didn't know how to deal with things. Emma meets Caleb partway through the book. He's a bad boy who has done some not-so-great things out of grief. His little sister passed away previous to the start of the book, and his parents blame him. The pair of them are a couple that could, honestly, blow up the world or put it back on it's feet. By and by, my favorite character is Emma's best friend Olivia. She is the best friend a girl could ask for. Despite Emma's moping, Olivia sticks around and is there for her, day in and day out. She manages to knock some sense into Emma when no one else can, and is simply amazing.




    As far as plot goes, it was okay. I never felt like there was a strong climax, but the beginning and ending were strong. The book turns fairly philosophical at points. As Emma remembers things from her past, she sees memories in different lights and takes lessons from everything she experiences. Life has not been extremely kind to any of the characters. But even still, they rise up and are better because of it. There is romance, but it is in no way the center of the story. The male protagonist is very much a rock for the main character instead of just a romantic interest. He has true point to the story. I feel like the main thing in this story is the characters, and how they interact in change. I give it four stars.

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  • Posted March 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Heartbeat was a great read about getting past grief and falling

    Heartbeat was a great read about getting past grief and falling in love that had me crying in a few spots—both happy and sad tears.

    FRIENDSHIP

    The friendship was one of my favorite things of the entire novel. It was such a relief to find a close pair of friends in a book. It's so . . . rare to find. Usually, there's a lot of drama or conflict between the pair, but thankfully Olivia and Emma were an exception. There were no big fights and no drama between them. They actually spoke to each other. They were open with one another, and each did her best to support the other. It was so nice to see that happening in this Heartbeat.

    CALEB & EMMA

    They were . . . just an utterly adorable couple. They fit very well together. At first, I had doubts about Caleb, but he turned out to be a very sad, quiet, understanding, and nice guy. He turned out to be a really good guy. He had his own grief to deal with, as did Emma. They needed each other and that made them a very good match. The two helped each other get through the grief, and I usually love it when characters do that.

    WRITING

    It was beautiful and very quotable. I found myself wanting to highlight a bunch of passages simply because I liked how they sounded!

    PACING

    It was slow, but not the boring kind. It was a "take your time" slow. Things weren't rushed and development was allowed to happen.

    OVERALL

    Heartbeat was a beautiful read with amazing relationships and a focus on grief—how it effects individuals, how it affects families—that was very well done.

    Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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  • Posted March 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

        Heartbeat is an emotional wild ride. Elizabeth Scott, the au

        Heartbeat is an emotional wild ride. Elizabeth Scott, the author, knows how to pack a powerful punch with the heartstrings, and I was misty eyed several times. The main character Emma is strong, determined and she had a strong bond with her mom. Unfortunately, she passed away, but she's being kept alive with machines for the baby. Emma is dealing with this halted, stilted grief because even though her mom is brain dead, her body is still there, and Emma has to see her every day. Emma has a lot of anger as well, and most of it is directed at her step-dad Dan. I understand where she is coming from because he is the one to make the decision about keeping her mom alive, and Emma sees it as making the decision completely about the baby with no regard for her mother. But as a parent myself, I totally feel for Dan. That had to be a heartwrenching decision, and he has to know deep down that that is what his wife would have wanted, to give this baby a chance. But then to have Emma questioning that and distancing herself, I totally can't even imagine how that feels. So, that all said, I really admire Dan for continuing to try to bond with Emma, and care for her, all the while attempting to respect her feelings and boundaries she's put up. 
        The relationship or deterioration was one thing that I kept my fingers crossed would be a place where Emma saw the truth of things. Luckily this was an area of the book where there was quite a bit of focus, and with it progress, and both sides admitting where they were wrong and the big c word: compromise. But above all, love and working through problems instead of just letting it simmer and one day explode under the pressure.
        I am glad for Emma that she has her best friend Olivia there for her. Olivia is the kind of friend that we all want, quirky but loyal to the end. She provides rides, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on for Emma. 
        We all know that Emma and Caleb, the bad boy mentioned in the synopsis will have chemistry and a relationship, but I like how it came to be. Their first encounters were by chance and overall antagonistic since Emma was so emotional, and it seemed that Caleb was defensive. I loved getting to know what was underneath Caleb's mask. I figured it was due to pain or loss, esp how when he saw Emma's mom he had understanding, a deeper connection than the pity or sorry for your loss of someone who just doesn't get it. I liked their slower build to romance and that they had a connection, they had a spark, definite chemistry, but they also had deep, real, hard conversations. 
        I will say there were some of the medical aspects that I felt were stretching the lines of plausibility, but then again, my medical knowledge is pretty limited and I have never done research on this sort of case. However, this did not at all take away from my enjoyment of this book. In fact, I devoured it, finishing in one day. 
         I think that the ending was good, but I wanted to know more. It wrapped up with Emma in a good place for continued healing, and accepting that it is okay to grieve, to miss her mom, but it is also okay to be happy. 




    Bottom Line: Emotional story of a girl's loss of her mother and coming to terms with the unconventional family that's left. 

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  • Posted March 2, 2014

    The start of this novel might have caused me several heart palpi

    The start of this novel might have caused me several heart palpitations, with characters that seemed to move backwards instead of forwards, and an unlikeable cast of misfits and miscreants. Had I developed a bit more sense, I might have shoved the entire story aside and moved on with my life. But curiosity kept me flipping pages like I was flipping shirts into a suitcase ready to take the next bus out of town. Instead of ending up at the train station, I stopped about halfway there, and turned my butt back around.

    The beauty of HEARTBEAT took a bit longer to arrive than I otherwise would have liked, but I did find it, and there was a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow, guarding the pot of gold with a heart monitor and electric shock treatments. He might have had a grin on his face, or it might have been a smirk, but either way it was present and accounted for, along with his scrubs, and his slightly cynical outlook on life.

    Emma might have taken the fast-track to her seventeen years, with the pedal to the floor and her arm sticking out the window, while Dan, the diligent stepdad, offered up a smile and a nod in her direction. The direction of her life was headed on the downward slope, sinking faster than a person in the middle of cardiac arrest without a single doctor in sight. Caleb might have been the bad boy who had an extra dose of wicked in his lifestyle dysfunction with a hard heart and an ability to sink cars.

    But this is one story that made me want to cheer, even if I had to accomplish said task from a sitting position. And my fortunes do feel just a bit brighter after having finished this novel. This was one quick read that left me blinking ever so slightly in surprise as the events unfolded right before my eyes.

    I received this book for free through NetGalley.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Posted February 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Emma's having a tough year.. hell, she could even win the award

    Emma's having a tough year.. hell, she could even win the award for worst and most screwed up year. Her mom suddenly becomes brain dead one day and her husband, and Emma's step dad, is keeping her on life support until her pregnancy is complete. Emma feels the ultimate betrayal because a) she feels that her step dad is choosing the baby over her mother, b) He never took Emma's opinion or emotions into consideration when making this decision, c) She has always looked up to her step dad as an actual dad and can't understand how someone who loves her mom so much would put her through this whole ordeal, suspended in time, not being to move on or move forward with her and their lives. I really sympathized with Emma.. but at the same time I also understood to some level what her step dad was doing. It brought out so many conflicting emotions in me and I loved how Scott was able to do that. I've read a couple of Scott's books and they are mostly fluffy contemporaries, but this isn't one of them. After her mother's accident, Emma's life also sort of stopped. She stopped caring about school, about her friends, and basically about everything in her life. When your mother is suddenly taken from you, but you still see her.. but she just isn't your mom anymore.. just thinking about it is making me teary. Writing this review is making me tear up! I would never wish this situation on anyone. My mom and I are very close and what Emma was going through was so tragic. I understood her lashing out at her step dad, and not giving a damn about the world anymore. People might think she's overly emotional and isn't thinking right.. but that's the thing.. anyone in her situation will be emotional and irrational. Enter Caleb, the bad boy in town.. at least that's what the gossip says but he is another case of misunderstood sweet boy that everyone thinks is a bad boy because of some incident. Anyways, I liked Caleb, and really liked how he sort of helped Emma through her period of grief. I loved reading Emma's hesitant steps back into the outside world through Caleb and even her best friend who was always there for her, as well as her step dad never giving up on Emma and really treating her as his own daughter and showing her his love towards her and her mom. This was was an emotional roller coaster for Emma and even for me. I couldn't put it down and read it in a single day. Heartbeat is a short book packed with so many emotions it will leave you breathless and teary by the end of it. I definitely recommend it for realistic contemporary YA fans. I am excited to see what new books Elizabeth Scott will be writing because I will be picking them up for sure.

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  • Posted February 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This was a very emotional story for me, one of those that is jus

    This was a very emotional story for me, one of those that is just heart-wrenching. The characters are both broken people brought together while dealing with painful, tragic situations.  Heart Beat is a raw, gripping story of loss, hope, grief and the pain and joy that are experienced in the process.  The romance was not the main focus of the book, but it added so much to it.  While emotionally taxing, I am glad that I read it.  It is definitely one of those books that stays with you long after you turn the last page.

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    3.5 stars! I¿m struggling a bit with writing a review for this

    3.5 stars!

    I’m struggling a bit with writing a review for this one. Heartbeat wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. I’m not really sure if I liked the book or hated it, but either way it left an impression on me.

    Emma is struggling to cope with the loss of her mother, which occurred only a couple months prior. The closure and dealing with her mother’s death is delayed by the fact that Emma is still able to visit her mother (or more appropriately her mother’s body) every day as her mother is being kept alive by machines until the baby that’s growing inside her is able to live on his own. Emma’s stepfather made the decision to keep her brain-dead mother’s heart beating long enough for his unborn son to have a better chance of surviving. Let’s just say Emma is having a difficult time dealing with his decision. She’s mad. REALLY mad. At everyone and everything.

    Anyone that knows me knows how much I love my contemporary and realistic fiction stories. I really thought I would love this one. But the anger Emma felt toward everyone and everything was something that was very difficult for me to understand. Though I can completely relate to anger and loss, I couldn’t grasp her hatred toward her stepfather, and really anyone else that looked at her the wrong way, over the decisions that were made regarding her mother. Yes, it maybe wasn’t what she would have chosen herself, but she neglected to see anyone else’s opinion on the subject, including what her mother would have wanted. I’m sure this is a major part of the story, and we’re not supposed to love Emma, but this made me a bit frustrated with her actions and thoughts throughout the story.

    The idea of this story and the way Elizabeth Scott went about approaching such a sensative topic was very well done. When I first read the synopsis I knew this was a book I would read. Though I have heard of people keeping bodies alive for things like this, I never really thought twice about it. Reading this story definitely opened my eyes to this sort of thing. Honestly, I can’t imagine how Emma felt, or how Dan, her stepfather, felt while making a decision like that. Though tough and heart-wrenching may describe it accurately, I think it’s much more than that.

    I’m really happy I decided to give this book a go. And I’m happy I didn’t stop reading right away when Emma started to get on my nerves. I was happy to see the way she developed as the story progressed. The romance in the story was a nice addition as well. There was a major emphasis on family and friends, which I found heartwarming. It definitely left me thinking long after I finished the book.


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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    Really great story filled with a lot of emotions. I loved that t

    Really great story filled with a lot of emotions. I loved that the relationship between Caleb and Emma wasn't about romance, but about healing. It was very refreshing and something that should be in more books. I loved the ending and thought that it was perfect that it wasn't a fairy tale ending. At the end of the book I just wanted to go hug my mom, and I did. I highly recommend this book and I will definitely be looking to more books by Elizabeth Scott.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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