Thursday, January 23, 2014

Heart Beat by Elizabeth Scott

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? (from GoodReads)

I think that Elizabeth Scott is a fantastic author and writes great YA contemporary novels. So I'm super disappointed that I did not enjoy Heart Beat as much as her earlier books.

I don't know what it is, but I have not been feeling the latest Elizabeth Scott books. Her earlier ones were amazing! I kind of think that I'm not enjoying the heavy topics, such as PTSD, trauma, and death that have been commonplace in her novels. What can I say, I like the light and happy books.

Heart Beat deals with Emma and her mother who is brain-dead. The central conflict comes from the fact that Emma is angry with her step-father for keeping her mother on life support in order to bring her baby to term. She's upset that Dan did not consult her first before making the decision and is convinced it's the decision her mom would not have wanted. This situation is super gray and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions. It's kind of messed up that they are practically using the mom as an incubator for this baby. It reminds me of the fact that women are sometimes treated as vessels for carrying fetuses, but that's a whole other discussion. At the same time, if there's already a baby growing, why not try to see if it can make it to term? It's a tough situation and kind of interesting to see it addressed in this book!

My problem wasn't that they were having a debate, but it was the fact that it is rehashed multiple times throughout Heart Beat. Every time Emma and Dan are on-page together, this argument is brought up again and again. I must have read Emma making the same points about 5 or 6 times before any progress is made in the argument and they can come to a resolution. Many times I just wanted Emma to move on and talk about something else!

I was also disappointed in both the character and plot development of this novel. Emma didn't really change that much except she wasn't as annoying at the end. We still don't know much about Caleb, though I did like what little I read. Nothing significant happens in terms of plot since most of it is Emma spending time with Caleb or yelling at her step-father.

Honestly, I did not like Heart Beat at all and am going to comfort myself by reading some earlier books by Elizabeth Scott!

Release Date: January 24, 2014
Rating: 5 out of 10.
FTC: received copy from LitPick

2014/Harlequin Teen/304 pages.


Kristan Sarah Stephanie Ingrid said...

Aw, such a shame that this didn't work for you, because it sounds like an interesting premise. :(

We actually like heavy topics in contemporary novels, though, so we might check out some of her earlier work. Any titles in particular that you recommend? Thanks!

Simply_Megan said...

My favorites by Elizabeth Scott are Bloom and Perfect You. They're a little on the lighter side but still have important themes. I would read those first! :)