Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
I had this review written for a while and forgot to publish it! Aye!
Heartbeat was my introduction to Elizabeth Scott; but I should have known that a woman who wrote books with the titles Living Dead Girl and Love You Hate You Miss You will most likely not be writing fluff. So I was shocked at my surprise when, in the first chapter we find out that Emma’s mother is pregnant, but also brain dead.
Well … alright then.
The story continues as Emma slowly reveals the reason for her mother’s death and the grief that she experienced in the wake. Emma’s grief is tangible. She finds that her priorities have completely changed, the things she thought were important now seem to be the things that kept her away from her mother. She has one good friend, Olivia, with whom she shares her grief, but even Olivia can’t seem to fully understand her.
Then Emma meets Caleb, a boy who seems to understand her pain completely. Emma has to wrestle through her friendship with Olivia, her relationship with Caleb and her hatred for Dan, the stepfather who is only keeping her mother’s body alive for the baby.
The story is written in first person present - which usually throws me - with flashbacks, but I think for this kind of story it works. It was an unbelievably fast read, and when it wan’t sucker punching me into tears it made me smile at the little snapshots of happiness.
The pacing was good for the most part, but since we were in Emma’s head as she worked through her grieving, there were times that seemed to drag as she went over the same issues continually. However, grieving is oftentimes repetitive, so I understood why Scott wrote Emma’s inner dialogue this way. She took us on a path of “what ifs?” as she tried to understand why she was left with the hand she was dealt.
I did enjoy the ending. WIthout giving much away, I loved that it wasn’t completely resolved. I wouldn’t call this a sunny beach read, but if you’re looking for a rainy day, under the covers, “I want to cry a little” read, this would be the book for you.
Many thanks to Harlequin Teen who provided this lovely arc.