Checklist for reading Heartbeat
-A whole day to devote to reading uninterrupted
-Did I mention tissues?
First I want to mention my shock when I went onto Goodreads to prepare for this review and saw that Heartbeat has an average of only 3.77 stars!! WHAT?! I think some people might have missed the point of the book, especially the ones stating they hated the MC because they found her to be selfish in the way she thought and acted. I'm not one to argue with another's opinion of a book but seriously?! This book is about loss, when people deal with loss they don't always react in the nicest, selfless ways. Sometimes they are a bitch. It's only natural. Maybe if these people had finished the book it all would have made sense to them. I'm just sayin..
I don't think I have ever cried throughout a WHOLE book. I am not kidding this book has some serious feels. I feel like everyone needs to read it. It's about loss and hate, forgiveness and love. About letting go and moving on.
Our MC is Emma. At the start of the book her mother is brain dead but her body is kept functioning by machines in order to support the baby growing inside her. Over time we find out how her mom died and the reasons for Emma's hate towards a stepdad (Dan) she once loved. During her journey through grief she is reintroduced to Caleb, a boy from her class who once was very popular but now is known for his drugged out ways and car stealing tendencies. Turns out Caleb and Emma have common ground when it comes to living with overwhelming sadness and guilt, through this they grow closer and become a lifeline for each other.
This book touched on something really sensitive for me. Being a mother myself my biggest fear is dying while my kids are young. I think this caused me to feel really sad that Emma has to go through this whole ordeal. She feels guilty because of wasting time studying instead of being with her mom right before her death. I just wanted to tell her that her mother understood and knew Emma loves her. I really hated that she was so alone afterwards, that Dan abandoned her emotionally when she needed him the most. I loved that she had such an awesome friend in Olivia. Without question if Emma called or even just gave her a look, Olivia was there to help any way she could.
This book held so much depth, how could it not, and the characters came alive from chapter one. I cried for Emma, I cried for Dan, I cried for Caleb (whose parents I would love to shake some sense into) but the best part for me was the end.
Although there was so much sadness in this book it was handled beautifully and when the end came around it felt perfectly wrapped up. I don't mean things were perfect, with this type of book you can't have perfect endings, but I felt like everyone would be okay and that was good for me. When I set the book down I took a deep breath and smiled. It's a story that will stick with me for a long time.