Review: Heartbeat

Author: Elizabeth Scott
Date of Publication: January 28, 2014
Pages: 304
Source: Library

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?

This may not be the most brilliant book but it is a great story and whilst reading, I enjoyed it.

The sole reason behind my interest in this book was the topic it covered. I’ve read a few news articles about pregnant bodies being kept alive in order to save the life of the unborn child but I was quite surprised to see the issue in a novel, especially since it’s quite a new occurrence.

At its heart, the story is one of grief, despair and loss. Emma is shattered after her mother’s untimely death. She can no longer see the purpose in things that she used to deem important like friends, reputation, and university. She is also questioning everything that led to her mother’s death. What could have been, what should have been and why. 

Emma’s grief reached beyond what I could understand sometimes, it was the all consuming type. She was so warped in the blame game that she was unable to let loose or move on.

Caleb was a great match for her. He had come to the same fork in the road several years earlier and had chosen to take all the wrong turns. Now classified as a druggie, loser and car thief he doesn’t have many prospects going for him until he becomes the only one who sees and understands what Emma is going through. 

Caleb was the catapulting force in Emma’s life. Sometimes it is easier to see the problems in others, than it is in oneself. Emma saw all the things that were wrong with Caleb’s life and she was able to console him. Little did she know that she was just like him. 

This isn't a love story. Love is a part of it, but mostly it's about familial love and loss. Emma's relationship with her mom was beautiful. Her relationship with her stepfather Dan, that she loved so much but with whom she was attached to because of her mother's marriage. This resulted in her fears of abandonment and the misunderstandings that arose after her mother's death. I really loved Dan. He was a wonderful man and I give him credit for dealing with Emma through the rough times. 

Heartbeat is a light story though it deals with some tough topics. The story itself doesn’t have much complexity and basically revolves around Emma’s family and her close friends with little snapshots of the outside world. It’s a nice quick read, that deals with love, loss and family. Lots of family; those were probably some of my favourite parts. 



  1. I still can't figure out whether I want to try this one or not. I have seen a lot of great reviews, but some not so great ones too. It seems like the story you need to be in the mood for.

    1. It is and I can see how some people might really dislike Emma because of her hardheaded grief. Sometimes she went over board with the things she said or did so I would recommend getting into the book ready to meet grief stiken characters.



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