Release Date: January 24, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Does life go on when your heart is broken? Since her mother's sudden death, Emma has existed in a fog of grief, unable to let go, unable to move forward—because her mother is, in a way, still there. She's being kept alive on machines for the sake of the baby growing inside her.
Estranged from her stepfather and letting go of things that no longer seem important—grades, crushes, college plans—Emma has only her best friend to remind her to breathe. Until she meets a boy with a bad reputation who sparks something in her—Caleb Harrison, whose anger and loss might just match Emma's own. 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?
I am an Elizabeth Scott fangirl from way back. Her books are so deep and emotional, the characters so raw and real, that I devour each and every one of her books. This one was no different.
I loved Heartbeat from the first page. Emma's feelings about losing her mother are heartbreaking. The way she chooses to handle that grief is just as heartbreaking. She blames her stepfather and his baby for her mother's death, since he has chosen to keep her mother alive on machines in order for the baby to have a chance to grow to a point whee he can be safely delivered and have a chance at life. Emma's grief has warped he perceptions into a belief that her stepfather only cares about the baby. Some of the scene between the two of them are horrifyingly sad. As a reader, you wish you could reach through the pages and hug them both, explain to them that they should be leaning on each other.
Enter Caleb. I loved Caleb as a character. I'm a big fan of tortured heros, and he definitely fits the description. He does have a bad reputation and has done some pretty bad things, but when Emma begins to know him and discovers the source of these actions, the two of them are able to understand each other better than anyone else possibly could. Their growing relationship is the catalyst to healing for the both of them.
This story was emotional, as are all of Elizabeth Scott's books. I flew through it, the pacing was so good, and I felt very deeply for each of these characters. I loved this story and would highly recommend it, and all of her books!