Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott



Author: Elizabeth Scott
Published: January 28th, 2013 by Harlequin Teen

GoodReads Summary: 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?

My Review: I should start by mentioning that I will read anything by Elizabeth Scott. She does a great job developing characters in unique situations, and I always get lost in the plots of her stories. This book was different from the other titles I have read by Scott because it is quite a sad story. Emma’s situation is heart-wrenching, and I felt the pain of her grief. What I liked most about this story was Emma’s growth as an individual. She shows an incredible amount of strength and isn’t afraid to examine her beliefs as she tries to determine what is right and true.

Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: Teachers might use this book to help readers learn about the stages of grief. It would be interesting to hold a debate about who is more justified in his or her position: Emma or her stepfather. Students might research the laws and practices of life support to help them think more deeply about the novel.

Discussion Questions: Is Emma’s position justified? Do you think she is being fair?; How does Emma’s relationship with Caleb help her grow as an individual?; Where is the turning point of the story? Why?; Do you think Emma’s mother should be kept on life support?

We Flagged: “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.”

Read This If You Loved: If I Stay by Gayle Forman, The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork, Boy21 by Matthew Quick, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Hold Still by Nina LaCour, Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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**Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing the Advanced Reader Copy for review!**

1 thought on “Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott”

  1. This is interesting. Sounds pretty sound, though. I’ll have to check this book out. I really respect authors who are able to talk about topics like this without sounding either nihilistic or moralistic.


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