Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

a standalone
published on January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
contemporary | romance

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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?


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I’m honestly unsure of how to rate this one. It really made me cry and root for most of the characters, but at 304 pages I felt that the novel went by too quickly and not a lot of development happened.

We are first introduced to Emma, our very, very angry heroine. She wouldn’t talk to her stepfather properly since she believed that her mother died only because she wanted to make him happy. I bet a lot of people will be irritated with her character, considering the fact that she was highly inconsiderate and kind of a bitch, honestly. But I do believe that she had a reason for being the way she was. She was just broken, and I understood where all her frustration came from.

And then Emma starts to get to know Caleb, who has gone through so much and is still constantly being hurt by everyone around him. His character had so much depth and I really did like him, but I don’t think he’s a very memorable hero. Again, this might only be since the novel was pretty quick. But he was there for Emma, he understood her and didn’t try to tell her everything’s alright because honestly nothing was. I wouldn’t normally associate myself with guys who stole cars and went through rehab, but Caleb was such a sweet, misunderstood boy.

My favorite part of the novel was basically Emma’s coming to terms with her family, how she started realizing that she had a family who loves her and that she should love. She also had a very supportive friend who tried her best to understand what Emma’s going through and how she could make things easier for Emma.

I loved everything that had to do with Emma’s grieving and her family. Elizabeth Scott did a great job with making me mourn with Emma and feel what Emma felt. With such a beautiful writing style, Scott was able to make me cry rivers. The romance was not up to par with everything else in the novel, sadly. And in the end (mini spoiler, I’d say), I didn’t like how Emma let go of her studies and just went with the flow instead of working harder like I would’ve wanted. Like what the hell, girl?

All in all, this was a beautifully crafted novel, but I did think it wasn’t as wonderful as it could’ve been. It had more potential which I hope Scott will improve on in her future novels.


Skulls 3.5

3.5 skulls


Let’s discuss! Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven’t, will you be picking it up anytime soon?
SIG - Aimee

38 thoughts on “Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

    1. The baby thing really freaked me out at first, actually. xD I’m glad I got into it though, and the baby did sort of play a big role in the book. Maybe One Day was really boring for me. I would prefer Heartbeat to it. :)


  1. I saw this one around and I’m not sure what to make out of it. I mean I do like the whole romance thing and the fact it will probably make me cry but it seems to lack as well. I’m glad you enjoyed it overall. Great review, Aimee :)


    1. I was really hesitant as well. I’ve seen plenty of raving reviews, but a lot of negative ones as well. I don’t regret reading it, though. It was a pretty worthwhile read. :)


  2. A lot of people hated this one because how much of a bitch the main character was. Though I can totally understand her anger–even though it was a little too much at some points. So glad you liked!

    Great review, Aimee! <33


    1. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced a family member getting sick and passing away, so I know what it’s like to be angry at everyone. I don’t get why she kind of just gave up on her studies, though.


  3. I love Elizabeth Scott, but this one was my least favorite book of hers. I struggled so much with the main character. I understood where she was coming from, but she was such a toxic character that it was hard for me to read the book without being angry and frustrated at her. I did really like Caleb though and the theme was very well-handled. in my opinion.
    Great review, Aimee!


    1. I haven’t read anything else by this author yet, but if they’re better than this, I should give them a shot. Dyan read Perfect You and really disliked it, though. Caleb was really nice.


  4. Oh, you crybaby :D *high five* I’m one too haha. I’m glad you found the character likable and rooted for them throughout the novel, even if the MC was a bit.. bitchy. If there’s character growth, I don’t mind this that much. FAMILY LOOOOVE. Me likes :) and yay for a great writing style. I’m glad you enjoyed een tough it wasn’t a perfect novel for you.


    1. *returns high five* We should start a book criers club, haha! xD I liked the two characters together, but it wasn’t a major ship or anything. I really loved the family aspect and the writing! <3


  5. I definitely agree with you. Heartbeat has a beautiful writing and a lot of potential, but somehow I felt like something was missing. It may be the fact that I was really irritated by Emma and her actions at times, and how unreasonable she was when it came to her mother, but then again, I get that she had her own reasons for it no matter how wrong they were. Great review Aimee!


  6. You would think 300 pages is enough time to get some good development in. That’s scares me. Happy you enjoyed it some though.


  7. I think I’d LIKE to try this book, but I confess it’s not top of my wish-list or anything. I like the premise, but the lack of development kind of bothers me. Plus the whole “bitchy character” thing is starting to wear on me. I mean, I UNDERSTAND why they are written and sometimes they’re done well, but after Side Effects May Vary, I’m absolutely turned off. :|


  8. I know exactly how you feel, it was good, but it needed that little bit more. How hard did you find reviewing this one? Emma was horrid, but made you feel guilty for disliking her because of what she’s going through. I kept thinking she needed a slap, but then berated myself for being so horrible.

    Completely agree about Caleb. His situation wasn’t any better than Emma’s, but it felt skimmed over and incomplete. Do you think we might see Caleb’s story any time soon?


    1. Haha! It wasn’t hard at all, actually. There were a few times where Emma was just being a bit too much, but most of the time I understood her and didn’t really mind. :)

      Hoepfully! I’d really like to know more about his character.


  9. It sounds like a beautiful book and my heart is already broken for Caleb, I’m sure it’s difficult for him as well. About Emma, I think I need to read about her to really know because as you say it’s quite complex. thanks for the discovery.


  10. This sounds like a fairly promising read, on the whole! Even though it wasn’t perfect in every way, and that it was quite quick overall, I’m glad you were able to invest emotionally in it. I haven’t actually tried anything by Scott before, but I have heard a lot of good things. Thanks for the helpful review, Aimee. :)


  11. I keep reading reviews on bitchy main characters these days, is that a thing now? I will admit, it’s very refreshing, although I do understand that they will grate on some people’s nerves, mine included. Wonderful review, Emma sounds like she grows a lot as a person. :D


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