Monday, 13 January 2014

Review: Heartbeat


Publication Date:  January 28th 2014         
~A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review~


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?


There is no possible way to write a review without it getting personal. Because it is. Personal. It also hits home a lot more than I'd like to admit, and it's hard to have an unbiased review because of that. It's always hard to see both sides when you know somebody else's so much better. Now, mine and Emma's is not the same, I got to grieve for the person I lost, while Emma hasn't, not that she hasn't tried, but the fact that she can't because her mother's body is being kept alive for the baby growing inside of her, and she has to see her, everyday, knowing that her mother's dead, yet she's right there in front of her, just out of reach. In a way, it's a whole lot worse that just losing somebody. They die, you say goodbye, they're buried, they're gone, and eventually you try and move on,  but the fact is, she literally can't.

Now, the connection I felt with Emma wasn't the loss, because you don't need to have lost someone for you to connect with it,  it was the hate,  the hate, because it was there for a while, for both of us, and though there's totally different reasons for the hate, hate speaks the same language no matter what the situation.  Though there's many reasons for Emma's hate, the pregnancy, her step-father, her mother, the way her life is now and the way her mother's being kept alive for her brother, the main reason being that she didn't have a choice. This perfect life she had was ripped out from under her and taken, and then her stepfather making a decision that affected her, without asking her. Without taking into account that it was her mother lying there. That she was old enough to be involved with that decision.
That's where the hate stemmed from, and the hate of herself for hating that, because it's a cycle. You want the hurting to stop. So you hate.

Because it's not fair. It's not fair that you're put in that situation, it's not fair. But you know what? You're alive,  and you're stuck. You're angry,  think you always will be,  and  that person who raises you, the person who did so and got you through, that carried on was the very person Emma doesn't have any more.  
I really, really wanted to feel bad for Dan, and I did, but some of things he does and says, I just couldn't. His wife just died, and he's keeping her body alive for the baby, I get that, okay, but it's not even that, the fact he didn't ask her own daughter, that was hers before he even married her mother, is completely and utterly wrong.  He didn't ask her how she felt, what to do,  nothing, and then he expects her to be happy about it? To look forward to it? Sorry, but no.

Then there's a scene where something's going wrong and only one person can go in and see the mother and Dan picks himself, without asking Emma, with no discussion, he just pushed her out of the way.
Stepping aside, I can see both sides, and the key factor in Heartbeat was miscommunication and mistakes between Emma and Dan, both wanted different things and both didn't see it from either sides. They wanted what they wanted, and though Emma felt shut out, she refused to see Dan's point of view because of what she thought he wanted.

Heartbeat was an emotional ride, with tragedy and tough choices, second chances and love,  and ultimately, faith and forgiveness.
Rating:  5/5