Publication Date: 28th February 2014
Book Source: Harlequin Teen & NetGalley
Synopsis: 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?
I'm a huge Elizabeth Scott fan and I liked Heartbeat but it didn't have the heart-crushing, punch-in-the-guts impact of Living Dead Girl. I just really connect with Ms Scott's writing and her gift of putting into words what is so often thought but not often said.
Emma was so choked on hate and hurt she was pretty unlikeable, I understood why, but it didn't stop me from wanting to smack her a time or two for her selfish, hurtful behaviour. But you know what, grief isn't pretty. It's natural to want to blame and when your loved ones are drowning in the same deep well of pain, it's difficult to consider someone else ... both Emma and her stepfather Dan were guilty of this.
On the up side Emma has a treasure of a best friend in Olivia and her relationship with her stepfather is loving and secure ... they just needed time to come through the storm.
Caleb's story really touched me, even sadder than Emma's, if that's possible. Their mutual pain and grief providing a connection they probably wouldn't have found otherwise. With Emma adjusting her judgmental attitude, mutual understanding blossoms into romance, but it takes a back seat to the central plot, much to my relief.
Yes it's repetitive but even that felt in keeping, imagine not being able to truly grieve your mother, seeing her daily, holding her hand, wanting it to be over, not wanting it to end, filling up on hope, while you know there is none.
Whilst not my favourite Elizabeth Scott, still one I'd recommend .. complex issues addressed with insight, honesty and compassion.
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