For awhile, I was doing this thing where I was reading the books on my TBR in order of shortest to longest, which is basically how I got started with readingáHeartbeat by Elizabeth Scott. It was the shortest book on my TBR and I wanted to finish it quickly. I’ve had a hit or miss experience with most of Scott’s books that I’ve already read. I either love them or I vehemently dislike them. It’s like there is no middle ground when it comes to my experience. I am quite happy to report to you, dear reader friend, thatáHeartbeat falls on the side of really liked.
Emma’s mother dies rather suddenly of a brain anneurysm. Her stepdad is keeping Emma’s mother alive and hooked up to machines because she’s pregnant. Emma resents this and would rather her mom be allowed to be dead rather than kept alive by machines. Like, she’s all but dead but because of the baby they can’t shut the machines off. Anyways, things are difficult for Emma, but luckily she has a best friend named Oliva who is totally the deal, if you know what I mean. ALSO. ALSO. Emma is reacting really negatively to everything that is going on and has basically lost her straight A valedictorian student status. Which okay, the whole time this was happening my currently employed in human services self was all WHERE IS HER SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER? WHAT ABOUT A GUIDANCE COUNSELOR? Because if that’s not a cry for help I don’t know what is. Along the way, Emma meets a guy named Caleb who has a total reputation for trouble. Friends, we are just getting started witháHeartbeat.
Maybe part of my issues with some of Scott’s other books are that I don’t like the main character, or that I read the book at the wrong point in my life. Like, ináBetween Here And Forever, I thought the main character was a total whackadoo. InáHeartbeat, initially I thought Emma was being a total brat and should have calmed the fuck down. Like, she’s so mean to her stepdad who basically adopted her because her biological father died when she was really young. Oh yeah you guys, Emma is an orphan now. But, I could understand her resentment. However, as an adult who sees all these babies, I side with her stepfather, let’s see what happens with the baby before turning the machines off. Don’t let the teenager pick. But then, hmmm, I also understand Emma because being a teenager makes you feel so powerless, especially in matters like this where she really does not have a choice. Anyways, Elizabeth Scott does a superb job with Emma and her voice ináHeartbeat.
I wasn’t entirely sure how I would feel about the romance ináHeartbeat. Y’all, it’s sweet and quiet and a budding sort of romance. It’s about two teens who are deeply damaged by their pasts and by their grief and who find shared, hm, sensibilities maybe is the term. Either way, neither Caleb nor Emma handles their traumas well, but they are kids so to me they get a free pass. Anyways. Caleb genuinely cares about Emma and gives her all these feelings. While I did not personally swoon myself, I liked them together.
I was really, really unsure about this book going in. Like, I was glad it was short because if I didn’t like it, it’s not like I had to spend all that much time with it. But you guys? I am glad I readáHeartbeat.áIt is kind of like a Lifetime movie or a Jodi Picoult book minus my being frustrated and pissed off at the ending. In fact, I never once felt the need to throw this book across the room. So, there is that. I actually am going to really recommend you check outáHeartbeat for a wholy absorbing read about some pretty damn big issues and a fabulously voiced main character.
Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher At BEA
Other reviews of Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott:
The Cozy Reader – “It is my hope that many young girls read this book”
Harley Bear Book Blog – “Emma was just so selfish it disgusted me”
The Reading Obsession – “I’d recommend this for fans of Jodi Picoult”