Heartbeat (Harlequin Teen)

Heartbeat - Elizabeth Scott The concept behind Heartbeat is certainly a controversial one: Emma's mother is brain dead, and being kept alive by machines for the sole purpose of carrying her unborn child to term. The ethical implications behind it piqued my interest and caused me to request a review copy, however I wasn't expecting this story to be quite as emotionally taxing as it was.

Emma, our protagonist, is incredibly easy to sympathize with. While I was initially deterred by her anger, selfishness, and resentment - especially in regards to her behaviour towards her stepfather - I definitely understood where she was coming from. In a lot of cases, it's easier to be angry than it is to be sad, and channeling all of your sadness into anger can make you feel better, if even for a little bit.

While the main focus of the story was a grieving, broken family that was struggling to find closure, there was also a romantic element. Emma and Caleb were both damaged enough to need the other person to be their support system -- and this mutual understanding of one another's situations not only helped them to better understand their own pain, but it also helped them to heal.

Overall, Heartbeat is a thought-provoking and poignant look at what it means to be alive and what it means to love.

I received a copy of this book from Harlequin Teen and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.