Published by: Harlequin Teen on January 28, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
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Rating: Did Not Finish
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?
I’m completely heartbroken over here. I’m DEVASTATED that I didn’t love Heartbeat. I think I’m mostly devastated because it has all the makings of a brilliant book, but the main character killed any enjoyment I could have had for it.
In a word, Emma is MEAN. She’s a selfish, hostile bitch. I get that she lost her mother and that’s horrible and devastating. She has every right to be upset—or even angry. But I could not handle her being mean and hateful towards her stepfather—a man who was nothing but nice, sweet, and supportive. Even when she she yells at him and basically says, “It’s your fault my mother is dead!” he still hangs in there and is nice to her. He comforts her and makes her breakfast and says she’s his family no matter what.. and yet she’s just a raging bitch to him.
I couldn’t get over how selfish and hateful Emma was. I wanted to be able to sympathize with Emma and cry with her.. but instead, her mean attitude just made me hate her. And on the one hand, I felt bad about hating a girl who just lost her incredible mother, but then she’d run off and treat Dan ( her stepfather) like complete and total shit, and I no longer felt guilty. This girl was horrible! I loved Dan; he was so nice and an EXCELLENT father figure… he didn’t deserve the treatment she gave him.
I don’t feel like Dan did anything wrong. She hated him for keeping his mother “alive” after she went brain dead, for the sake of saving her unborn child. Maybe I’m just ignorant or something, but I don’t see anything terribly wrong with that. Emma constantly yells at him that “It’s not what mother would have wanted!”, but on the contrary, I think that’s exactly what most mothers would want. If the mother has to die, surely most mothers would want their family to do everything they can to save their unborn child? Isn’t that some kind of obvious maternal instinct (“protect the child no matter what”)?
I get that it’s hard to see your mother laying there in a hospital bed day after day, when she’s basically already dead and there’s no hope for her.. but no one’s making her visit her mom every day. It’s like she’s only torturing herself by choosing to do that.
Emma just made out Dan to be some kind of evil, killing bastard for doing this.. and I really don’t see the problem. But mostly I just didn’t want to finish Heartbeat because of how much I despised Emma. She was really and truly horrible to Dan. I felt so awful for him because he was such a nice guy, and Emma was just a bitch. I just couldn’t take it…
And it sucks, because I think the overall plot of this book is really interesting, and I’d have loved the chance to get more into it.. but Emma really stood in my way and ruined it for me!