Release Date: January 28th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 1.5 STARS
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?
Unfortunately, Heartbeat did not quite do a good job impressing me. It originally seemed like a different kind of plot for a contemporary story which had me interested and something like a Sarah Dessen book (which I was hoping for). But as you read it, it just didn't do any justice. It starts off well but then you see the shift and how rushed everything came out to be. And it turned out to be bland and a bit boring.
I really did like the plot and it definitely had a lot of potential if it were done in a different way. Everything starts off well and just when you think you've progressed in the story, you come back to square one and it's really irritating. It's like nothing's getting resolved and I just wanted for the story to move on. The middle however really had no development of characters or plot. Just a flat section. Dan, Emma's step dad, is the most annoying and self centered and I wanted to kick him so badly. Their relationship could have and almost did get resolved but then no everything goes right back where it started *headdesk* I mean I do see both sides on the topic of her keeping her mother alive just to keep the baby alive and well. But I wished they talked it out more so they each could see that. And if anything both characters are at fault because they both gave each other reason to not have a good relatioship.
Emma was a really sad character but I wish she did more than mope and she definitely had the right to be sad but I expected her to do something big in defense of her mother. The only other issue I had with Emma was her feelings which also connects to the love story part of the book. Caleb's and Emma's relationship is probably the most rushed area of the entire story. Like the same old kind of stories, good girl with a sad story meets bad, rich boy with a horrible family. Their relationship only really develops really in the last 20% of the book and that's not something all readers like to really see in a book. It would have helped a lot if they had more of a friendship which develops into a love. Yeah Caleb was their for her and it might just be the fact it's hard for me to relate to being able to trust a stranger quickly, but I felt like we need more than what's given.
All in all, Heartbeat isn't for everyone and there might be some readers out there who do believe it to be a heart wrenching love story. So I say give it a try. Always give books a try since while one person may not like it, it doesn't mean you don't. If you're not a contemporary reader, I wouldn't suggest it unless you are intrigued by how this story goes. Heartbeat had the potential to be great but unfortunately didn't hold my attention. Happy Readings!