ARC Review: Heartbeat 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?

My Rating:  3.5 cupcakes

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.

ARC August: Update #3

It’s the end of the third week in August, which means it’s time for another ARC August update! I think I’ve been doing pretty well so far, even though my list hasn’t stopped growing yet. I’ve been updating the original post as I finish/add ARCs, and it can be found here.

So far, I have read the following ARCs. If you’re interested, you can click on the cover image to be taken to my review.

I’ve officially read all of the ARCs that I’ve received from Netgalley! YAY! : ) Next, I plan on reading Powered by Cheyanne Young, since I received a copy for review and it looks really neat.

If you’re participating in ARC August, leave me a link to your update so that I can check out your progress.
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ARC August!

Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat is hosting a wonderful event in August – ARC August!

Throughout August, participants will focus on reading all the ARCs that they have stacked up — whether they’re sitting on your bookshelf or your ereader, from Netgalley or Edelweiss, or upcoming or past releases.

If you’re anything like me, your dashboard on Netgalley is starting to get a little bit scary, with the number of approvals far exceeding the number of titles that have provided feedback for them. (I just can’t help it – whenever I see a pretty book, I have to request it!) What better way to put a dent in your list than to dedicate an entire month to reading these? Your to-read list (and the publishers) will certainly thank you.

If that’s not enough incentive to participate, she’s even throwing in a prize of $20 to your book retailer of choice – after all, once you get through all of those ARCs, you’ll be looking for something else to read, right?

Want to join in? Visit Octavia’s blog for details!

My to-read list (so far):
1. Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey
2. Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper
3. Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta
4. Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian
5. The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
6. The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley by Jan Andrews
7. The Blemished by Sarah Dalton
8. Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer
9. The Demon Rolmar by A.V. Griffin
10. Vicious (Preview Excerpt) by Victoria Schwab
11. Rory by Ciye Cho
12. Powered by Cheyanne Young
13. Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon
14. Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
15. Countdown by Michelle Rowen

I’m sure that this list will be changed/added to over the course of August – after all, Netgalley is sure to tempt me with more pretty books to request – but for now, I’m satisfied with it.

I can’t wait for August! : )
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