Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Heartbeat

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott (web | tweet)
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 256
Keywords: grief, family, friendship
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley


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.

First of all, happy release day to E. Scott and Heartbeat! I've linked above if you want to go get it!

This is one of those books I really wanted to read, and then I read some reviews on Goodreads and was kind of worried because a lot (I mean a LOT) of people marked it as DNF or gave it only one star.

But (and this is obviously just my opinion) BEING ANGRY AT THE CHARACTER OR HER ACTIONS ARE NO REASON TO HATE THE BOOK. Okay, I'm calm again.

The central focus of the story revolves around Emma having to come to terms with the fact that her mom has just died, and her stepdad has chosen to keep her alive because she's pregnant. She is naturally very angry with him for making her continue to know that her mom is dead but machines are keeping her breathing, and to her, this keeps her mother from finding peace. She hates her stepdad now and locks herself physically and mentally off from him.
But regardless of whether or not I agree with what she's doing, I completely understand her actions. Her mother died less than thirty days ago, and it is still an extremely sensitive time for her. EScott captured this perfectly, and her writing is beautiful as it tells Emma's struggle to come to terms with what is happening.

I was so impressed with the subject she tackled, and the romance line kind of took the back burner, which I was so happy with. I didn't want it to be the focus since it wouldn't have been the focus of Emma's life at the time.
(It also made me extremely intrigued as to what would happen in real life were this to happen, and recently there was a case in Texas where the husband wanted to take his wife off life support because there was most likely a lot of brain damage and harm done to the baby inside, but the hospital refused to take her off. The case was just ruled a few days ago.)

Overall an extremely poignant and challenging novel that brought up a lot of questions about what I personally believe and how people handle grief.

Read When : You're ready to think about a book instead of just getting a mindless romance. This one will make you want to do research into what you believe about life support, unborn babies, and dealing with loss.

Anyone else read this? What did you think?
(Please, refrain from mean comments in regards to life/choice debate. I love discussion a lot, but anything that is mean or condemns the other side will be deleted)

2 comments:

  1. Wow, this is a story ripped right from the headlines. If it wasn't for the fact that it takes forever to get a book out through a big publisher, I'd think it was inspired by the news story. Goodreads reviews can be very harsh, and I often think the 1 star ratings tell you more about the reader than about the book.

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    Replies
    1. I've given very few 1 star ratings, and they're never scathing or horrible. I just simply say they weren't for me, and list some reasons why not. There's a good way to give bad reviews, and a lot of them for this book were not those, which is so sad.
      And yes, it was crazy how relevant this was with the current news! I couldn't believe it when I found the article!

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