Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

By Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Summary: 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?

Review: Honestly, I am shocked how much I disliked this book. I've read many of Elizabeth Scott's books and really enjoyed them. One look at the cover of her new one, and I thought I would love it as well. Sadly, you really can't judge a book by it's cover because this one failed to hold my interest and I just didn't care about the main character. 

When her pregnant mother collapses in the kitchen for absolutely no reason, Emma is devastated when she learns her mother is brain dead and that her stepfather asked to keep her alive until the baby can be born. Hurt and angry, Emma finds herself lashing out at her stepfather and completely uninterested in school, which used to be her sole obsession in life. How could her stepfather keep her mother alive as a vegetable for the slight chance the baby could live? Emma learns to cope with her grief and open herself up to others, including her best friend Olivia and bad boy Caleb. There's much more to death than Emma could ever hope to understand. 

I'm so, so sad I didn't like this one. I honestly thought I was going to be reading a story full of emotion and romance, but instead I got a story with a completely selfish, whiney girl and a forced romance I didn't feel at all. For the entire novel, Emma complains about how selfish her stepdad is for wanting to keep her brain dead mother alive so that his son can be born. So she'd rather her mother AND unborn brother die? She goes on and on and on about how much she hates everything and how it's all the baby's fault. Her complaining gets so tiring and I found myself skimming through the pages and pages of her saying how unfair life is and how she hates her stepdad. 

Not only was Emma annoying, but the romance with Caleb seemed way too forced and not developed at all. They see each other in the hospital and it's like all Emma can think about is him now. And the only thing they bond over is that they've both lost people. That's seriously all they have in common or talk about (well, except for their love for vending machine cotton candy, which is just weird). I think there should have been more substance in their romance. Honestly, there should have been more substance in general. Emma practically does nothing but think the entire novel. There should have been more action and defining moments than there were. There were maybe two major events, while the rest of the time she sat around in her room, the hospital, or at school complaining, yet again, about her life. I understand that what she's going through is very traumatizing and emotional, but I really did not like the way Elizabeth Scott had her handle it, if you can call how she acted "handling" her situation at all. 

Overall, I just could not connect with the characters or the story. I couldn't wait until the end of the book because that meant I didn't have to hear Emma complain in such a selfish way. I couldn't understand, would she rather have the baby dead? Her outlook on the entire situation seemed too exaggerated and unbelievable. Needless to say, this one completely missed the mark for me. 


  1. I'm sorry to hear that. From the blurb, I thought it seemed interesting. Sucks that the character was annoying and the romance seemed unnatural. Thanks for the honest review though.

  2. i'm sorry to hear you disliked it so much.. but honestly.. people in her position AREN'T rational… you can't enforce logic on her situation so I got what she was going through.. her emotions and just how it seemed like the world hated her.. I actually think this is my favorite elizabeth scott book. I hope her next book would be a better read for you!!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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