Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Posted January 8, 2014 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 14 Comments

17258743Title: Heartbeat

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: January 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.
I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Emma speaks to her Mom everyday, but she never responds. Her mother is being kept alive through a variety of machines, to keep the baby that is growing inside of her alive before it’s born. Caleb has community service in the hospital after a series of bad choices lands him there. Together, they may find a way to heal each other, and forgive themselves.

Heartbeat is a very emotional story. I found tears streaming down my face as I read, surprised by how much the story was affecting me. I love Emma. She’s hurt and confused and feeling betrayed and abandoned. Not only from her mother, who she loved dearly, but also by her step-father who can now only focus on the new baby and doesn’t seem to see Emma at all. Emma flashes back to loving, warm times between her mother, step-father and herself. We see how wonderful and caring their family was and how much Emma loved her step dad. Only for all of that to change once her mother died and he started using her mom as an incubator.

Caleb’s family life is heartbreaking as well. I loved how different each of their families were and how everyone dealt with grief differently.

I want to point out this is not just a love story. Yes, there is some romance in it. But it’s more about Emma and her family’s new dynamic. It’s about grief and healing. It’s about how sometimes, people are too far gone to see the love that’s right in front of them. What really stood out where the conversations between her and her step-dad Dan. I loved how torn he was, how he tries and tries and fails. He’s so emotionally worn and tired and my heart went out to him and Emma. Her anger and confusion felt real and justified as much as his did.

I also love her scenes with her best friend Olivia. Olivia is a true friend and her and Caleb seem to be at odds in Emma’s life. It is so realistic and honest. I especially enjoyed one of the scenes at the end when Olivia and Emma speak about how she keeps them both separate and how she can talk to Caleb about some things and Olivia about others. How Emma wants some normalcy and how we compartmentalize people. We give and take certain things from different people, especially during traumatic events. This rang totally true for me.

There’s no sugar coating the tough choices the familys’ make in this book, and honestly, I’m glad that Scott did such a wonderful job at writing flawed and human characters. There are no bad guys, no good guys. There are only the choices we make and what we think we can live with.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted January 8, 2014 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 14 Comments

14 responses to “Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

  1. HollyB@

    What a lovely review! I saw that someone else was reading this a few days ago, but somehow before that I didn’t have this book on my radar. Thanks to your review, I do now! I actually love emotional, deep/heavy, and/or “issue” reads, though I know some people shy away from them. I didn’t know what the book was about until reading your review, and it immediately grabbed me. I actually wrote a paper on this very issue – sustaining a brain-dead woman through the use of life support for the purpose of bringing the fetus she is carrying to term – for a feminist theory /women’s studies course I took in college. Now, this was – oh my word, I can’t believe I’m about to admit this – 18 or 19 years ago!! And in all that time since, I don’t remember EVER hearing about a fiction book that incorporated the issue into the plot! I’m actually amazed that Ms. Scott would take it on at all, and in awe that she seems to have done such a wonderful job with it. I am now fascinated and will have to get my hands on the book ASAP! Thank you for the lovely review, and for letting us know more about HEARTBEAT. I look forward to reading it.

    By the way, I am a new follower, although I don’t know how I seem to have ever missed you et blog before! I follow a ton of book blogs, mostly ones that focus on YA, and I don’t know how yours slipped by me ;) But I’m glad to be following now! I wanted to tell you that you have one of the MOST GORGEOUS blog designs I have ever seen – and I say that in complete honesty. I am really in love with it, and I think I could stay and visit all day!! Take care :)

    • Kimberly

      Holly! It’s so nice to meet you. Thank you so much for commenting and for all of the kind words. I am so thrilled you like my little blog and you liked my review. I’m amazed that you wrote a paper on this issue! It’s such an amazing and sensitive issue! I’d be interested in reading your paper. This topic also seems to be making headlines recently, and I wonder how a lot of people feel about it. I’ve never read a book that discusses this! I think Scott did a really good job at conveying the emotional stress and different sides of a situation like that. I hope you read Heartbeat and enjoy it too!

  2. This was such a nice review about a problem. I got emotional reading the review. Somehow it reminded me of Patricia Neal, an actress. who was told she had to get rid of the child she was carrying for her health. I think Patricia Neal had a stroke. She kept her baby and also went back to acting.later.

    • kimberlybuggie

      Hi Leona! Oh I never heard of Patricia Neal! I’ll have to look her up! Thank you so much for commenting and swinging by my blog. I hope you check Heartbeat out. I really enjoyed this YA! :)

  3. Darlene Ysaguirre

    I really enjoy Elizabeth Scott’s books.. Looks like after reading review i need to add to by TBR list

  4. Great review! I don’t usually read super emotional books like this but the topic really intrigues me. I think the best books are those with no clear good or bad guys. I will definitely put this on the list of books I need to read this year. I really want to know the outcome, even though it’s probably going to break my heart.