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?
4 out of 5 stars
I totally underestimated this book going in, though I can't tell you why. A friend from another blog sent me her ARC on a whim and there you have reason #5743245 why book friends are the best friends -they introduce you to words and characters you weren't even looking for but are so happy you found.
So, back to the book and how the best way to describe it is HOLY FEELS. I absolutely loved the way that this story took a controversial (and coincidentally timely) story and made it so much more than what is simply right or wrong, black or white, me or you. It focused on the grief and the love and the tears and the memories and the fears and how they build on each other to form opinions and ideals.
It reminds us that the idea that what we want more than anything isn't always possible.
"Under the idea that we can all make our fates, that we have choices, is the reminder that sometimes we don't. That sometimes life is bigger than ourplans. Bigger than us."
In this complex and sometimes cruel world though are amazing relationships that offer so much when needed, and Emma finds this in the one person she never imagined would be her respite from her pain. Being broken doesn't mean you have to be alone.
"I feel special. I feel like there is the world, and then there is Caleb and me. Just us, a broken little party of two bit it isn't so bad, being broken. Not with someone who understands. Not with him."
I can't say enough about Emma as a main character. She was so so so very strong and yet with every argument with her stepfather, every conversation with her mother, every memory she clung to showed that she was so so so very torn. And angry. And vulnerable. I didn't read her as a petulant, whiny, immature YA character. She was true and I was moved by her story.
If you are looking for a deeply emotional read that will fill you with feels, I can't recommend Heartbeat enough. I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Scott.