Thursday, 27 March 2014

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Book Summary : 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?

Heartbeat is Elizabeth Scott’s heartbreaking, heartwarming and heart-healing new novel about the ties that bind--and the ties that free.

My Rating : 3.5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : “When someone you love...when they die, you want it undone. You'd do anything to have them back, and it's easy to believe that if only this had happened or that had happened, everything would be fine. And that's what makes you angry. What makes you hate. You don't want to believe that sometimes bad things happen just because they do.”

Heartbeat was, in my opinion, one of those stories that dramatized a set of complex characters, while the execution was rather simple. The author, Elizabeth Scott, is always best known for dealing with highly sensitive issues in a respectful and deft manner. Her famous novella Living Dead Girl was an upsetting and unsettling book, with such a visceral literary fashion that had chilled me to my bones. But, unlike the author’s previous issue novels, this particular title didn't gratify me to that level. It has severely failed to snag my attention to what promised to be a compelling plot.

Emma’s mother is lying brain-dead in hospital and being kept alive by life support machines to ensure her unborn baby’s survival. A lordly decision made by Emma’s step-father Dan. But to Emma, as she watches life moves on without her mother, her forlornness grows into anger. She thinks her stepdad had betrayed her. He doesn't love her mom but the baby growing inside her.This whole ambiance, both inside and outside, is cumulatively affecting her studies. Her life was on a tough act to be followed.

Emma, for the most part, was not a good protagonist. She is hard to connect with. I truly understand that, with her pain, her frustration, her anger, Emma was supposed to be an exceptional character—a flawed one. Her story was touching, but I would've loved it even more if it were not for her coarseness that put me off. Her rough and edgy behaviors, her tendency to blame Dan even for what he wasn't responsible, often felt wrong. I wanted her to grow, to act mature, and to think past her irrationality. Pardon me if I’m being insensitive to her conditions, but her attitude was what provoked me into belittling her decisions.

However, I loved her relationship with Caleb, because even though she constantly professed that Caleb was a bad boy, that she should stay away from him; but the situations made Caleb her staunch companion throughout her grieving period, helping her to get through it, making the romance real and believable to me.

Overall, Heartbeat is a story of acceptance and shows the growth of a character through many perilous stages of life in a short period. Every pages, every line, every word is weaved with undiluted emotions. It doesn't have neat plots parameters, nor does it have the most perfect characters. And despite my commentary on Emma’s condition, I hope many readers will find the book worth reading.

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