Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
*May contain spoilers*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?
Emma had a normal teenage life. Her mom had remarried and she had a great step-dad, Dan. Her grades were great, she was on track to be valedictorian. Her mom and step-dad were planning on having a baby and while it took a while they were finally pregnant. Her mom was worried and Emma saw it. She saw that her mom was scared.
One day all of Emma's normalcy changed. Her mom died, but at the same time her mom's still alive. She's alive for the baby that they worked so hard to conceive. Dan made that choice and Emma disagrees with his choice. She's so angry at him now. She used to love him and he was so good to her but now, she wants nothing to do with him. He's the enemy. That may be harsh but no one seems to get that her mom is dead, and all Dan seems to care about is the baby!!
Meeting Caleb started a change in Emma. He had his own demons to fight. He felt responsible for things that a kid never should've been in charge of. Emma's friend, Olivia doesn't understand this kinship Emma shares with him. Olivia is scared for Emma, she thinks Caleb is a bad seed and will pull Emma under even more. That is farthest from the truth, he helps Emma and I'd like to think she helped him.
I enjoyed this story but I had some issues with the timetables the author laid out for us. Emma is talking about seeing the baby move, her mothers stomach ripple and to me it's just not possible for a baby to be seen moving as early as its stated, let alone know what the sex of the baby. I will admit I've only had one child but even my friends that have had more than one child haven't seen their babies move as early as 12 weeks. As for knowing the sex of the baby that's something that people find out at the very least at 20 weeks.
Now for Emma's anger, I get her anger. She's in pain, she feels like no one cares that her mother is dead. She feels like all the focus is on the baby that she feels essentially caused her mothers death. She has no family around her, Dan is her stepfather and he left her out of the decision about her mother. She lashes out at the only person she can. Eventually she clears the air between herself and Dan.
This book was really good and I enjoyed seeing Emma's journey. Seeing her realize that she couldn't hold on to the anger, seeing that love was still possible and not just from a boy, from Dan too.