I have to start this review by being perfectly honest about two things. First of all, I requested this book, forgetting that I hadn't enjoyed the two other books that I read by the same author. I gave Living Dead Girl one star (my review on the blog is here) and, although I didn't review Bloom, I only gave it two stars on Goodreads. So, when I realized who the author was, I was immediately unsure of whether or not I'd even like the book. But I decided to give it a chance anyways -- after all, I'm often disappointed when my expectations are too high, so maybe it would work to go in with an expectation of disappointment? Then, I read the first chapter and immediately thought, "Oh no, I'm going to HATE this book!" You see, after having been pregnant and having a baby, books with this type of subject material give me the heebie jeebies.
This isn't spoilery at all, since it all happens in the first few chapters, but here are some facts that you should know when going into this book. Emma's mom has died, but is still being kept on life support in the hospital. Although there's no hope of her waking up, she's staying on life support because, at the time of her death, she was 12 weeks pregnant. The book opens shortly before she reaches 16 weeks and the doctor's have hoped that, if the baby lives through the first 30 days of the mom being on life support, then there's a viable chance that the baby will make it.
I liked the book, but didn't love it. After reading through the first couple of chapters, I contemplated DNF-ing the book, since I was worried about my own personal connection to the story. (After having had a baby, I find it hard to read stories like this anymore). But there was something about Emma that kept me going. The story that unfolded was heavy on character development, but light on plot. Not much happens throughout the storyline, since the book is primarily about Emma working through her pain at the loss of her mom and her anger at her stepfather for keeping her mom on life support. Emma also meets Caleb, a boy that has issues of his own, and who understands her pain in a way that no one else can.
Heartbeat is a good story, not mind-blowingly awesome, but a good story nonetheless. I felt that Emma's character was quite well-developed, but the ending to the book felt a bit rushed. It's a short book (not quite 250 pages) and a longer unravelling to the plot would have been better. It's a decent read and, as a result, I haven't given up on Elizabeth Scott's writing.
Note: I received an e-galley of this book from Netgalley. The fact that I received this book for review did not influence my opinion of this book in any way.