Sunday, February 9, 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?

I love Elizabeth Scott. She is one of my all time fave YA authors. I love the feeling of snuggling up with a new Scott book (she is, thankfully, a prolific writer ;)). Heart Beat has a gut wrenching, painful premise that would make the book hard work to get through were it not for Scott's effortless prose. Scott has this way of writing sparsely, making the emotion more gut wrenching (as opposed to waxing poetic about all the feelings). 

I liked Heart Beat a lot but it wasn't an easy read. Emma's emotions cloud everything and being in her head space made me feel like I needed a breath of fresh air. I hate confrontation and am a huge peacemaker and -- despite the emotional turmoil that consumes Emma -- I was so desperate for her to make peace with Dan, for the fog to lift, for some peace and resolution. At times the conflict felt repetitive, but that may have been me projecting where I wanted the story to go :) It was a really emotional read -- so much grief, and yet no room to grieve. It's a doozy of a premise and right up Scott's alley to explore. 

Scott creates some of the best YA boys and Caleb ticks all the boxes (without feeling like he was created to tick boxes, haha). He's mysterious, seriously cute, and behind his bad boy image, he's got a genuinely heart-breaking story. This bad boy is not a typical YA "bad Boy" (i.e. some kind of swaggering, tough, womaniser style kid) -- Caleb has been in trouble with the law and his reputation is earnt, yet his personality is honest and intriguing and, surprisingly, sweet. Scott brings some iconic and swoony moments (rooftop meetings and more) and Emma's scenes with Caleb really lifted some of the heavier themes in the book (even while adding more emotional trauma -- of a different achey kind).

I also really liked the best friend relationship -- which was layered and unique and added more depth to themes being explored. 

Scott has the perfect voice for teens. She writes with immeadiacy and her pacing is spot on. She gets right under her character's skins and writes with a lot of heart. She nails friendships and family and swoony boys -- I recommend all her work, all the time, and Heart Beat is no exception. If the premise interests you at all -- check this one out, it's perfect heart-wrenching contemporary YA fans. 

paperback cover
ebook cover
Aren't all three covers gorgeous? I own the hard cover and it's stunning with it's gold foil accents. I also adore the ebook cover -- and the paperback typography appeals to me as well 

Heartbeat @ goodreads

Thanks to Harlequin Teen for my providing an arc via netgalley

Heartbeat is available now :)

Do you love Elizabeth Scott? What's your fave books of hers?

(mine's Stealing Heaven <3 & I love Will in Perfect You ;) -- also, Miracle is really good, definitely check it out if you haven't yet. Seriously underrated book!)

1 comment:

  1. I think this is one a lot of readers found fault with because of the unlikeable nature of the protagonist, but I really enjoyed it. It definitely wasn't easy to read in the least, but it managed to be such a smart, savvy look into grief which hasn't been done quite this way before in YA. And yes, Caleb. I loved the fact that he was genuinely a "bad boy" and went through so much pain attempting to redeem himself in the eyes of those around him. Yet another arresting, articulate review, Nomes! :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)