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January 21, 2014

Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott - A Heartwrenching Contemporary

Title: Heartbeat
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication date: January 28, 2013

Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 304
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?
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.


  1. I love the premise of this book and I can't wait to read it!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  2. Love the sounds of this. I lost my mother a few years ago and I am an adult, so I can't imagine being a teenager, when we need our mother's the most. Wonderful review. I will be adding this one.

    1. It is a very hard thing to get past. I have had three different friends whose mothers passed away during their teenage life and it is tough.

  3. What an impossible decision to make! Emma and her stepdad are in a horrible situation in this story, I can see how you could understand and support both of them in a way. I don't know that I'm brave enough to read this since I dont' read that much contemporary to begin with, but it sounds like a great story.

  4. This sounds like a truly great and emotional story and that's kind I love. I agree with Maja, it's truly impossible to make that decision. Great review :)

  5. I'm a big E. Scott fan. I had a harder time with this one. I felt so much for Emma, but I also understood where her stepdad was coming from, and as a mom, I sort of thought that Emma's mother would have wanted her baby to survive. And I wished there hadn't been as much romance. But you should definitely try more of her books. There's a somewhat similar one --Between Here and Forever -- about a girl whose sister was in a coma, and I preferred that one a little more.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. I completely agree.. logically everyone would say why also kill the baby when it could survive? but I'm pretty sure logic is out the window in her state. I will have to check out Between Here and Forever, thanks for the rec!

  6. Juhina!!! I loved this book even though it wrunge me out from its rollercoaster of emotions and heartbreak. Great review and I'm so glad you liked it! :DD

    1. *wrung (Obviously I'm lacking some sleep. Haha!)

  7. This books sounds my kind of book, sometimes I need to read a poignant, and heartbreaking book. I can´t wait to read it. Great review!