Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publication date: January 28, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Emma's having a tough year.. hell, she could even win the award for worst and most screwed up year. Her mom suddenly becomes brain dead one day and her husband, and Emma's step dad, is keeping her on life support until her pregnancy is complete. Emma feels the ultimate betrayal because a) she feels that her step dad is choosing the baby over her mother, b) He never took Emma's opinion or emotions into consideration when making this decision, c) She has always looked up to her step dad as an actual dad and can't understand how someone who loves her mom so much would put her through this whole ordeal, suspended in time, not being to move on or move forward with her and their lives. I really sympathized with Emma.. but at the same time I also understood to some level what her step dad was doing. It brought out so many conflicting emotions in me and I loved how Scott was able to do that. I've read a couple of Scott's books and they are mostly fluffy contemporaries, but this isn't one of them.
After her mother's accident, Emma's life also sort of stopped. She stopped caring about school, about her friends, and basically about everything in her life. When your mother is suddenly taken from you, but you still see her.. but she just isn't your mom anymore.. just thinking about it is making me teary. Writing this review is making me tear up! I would never wish this situation on anyone. My mom and I are very close and what Emma was going through was so tragic. I understood her lashing out at her step dad, and not giving a damn about the world anymore. People might think she's overly emotional and isn't thinking right.. but that's the thing.. anyone in her situation will be emotional and irrational.
Enter Caleb, the bad boy in town.. at least that's what the gossip says but he is another case of misunderstood sweet boy that everyone thinks is a bad boy because of some incident. Anyways, I liked Caleb, and really liked how he sort of helped Emma through her period of grief. I loved reading Emma's hesitant steps back into the outside world through Caleb and even her best friend who was always there for her, as well as her step dad never giving up on Emma and really treating her as his own daughter and showing her his love towards her and her mom. This was was an emotional roller coaster for Emma and even for me. I couldn't put it down and read it in a single day. Heartbeat is a short book packed with so many emotions it will leave you breathless and teary by the end of it. I definitely recommend it for realistic contemporary YA fans. I am excited to see what new books Elizabeth Scott will be writing because I will be picking them up for sure.