Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
January 28, 2014 | Harlequin Teen | 304 pages
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?
Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott deals with a very emotional and personal topic, which is touched on in the summary. The use of life support for a terminally injured person.
In this case Emma is dealing with the sudden brain-death of her mother. Her pregnant mother. Her step father decides that keeping Emma’s mom on life support to allow their unborn child to develop and to possibly live is what Emma’s mother would have wanted. Emma is lead to believe that her mother was afraid and even knew that the pregnancy would kill her and that she didn’t want to be put on life support to save her unborn child.
To say that this book didn’t effect me would be a most heinous lie. I am the mother of two beautiful children: Madison, daughter, soon to be 9, and Riley, son, 2 years old. I am also a registered organ donor. If you were to put these two things together I think knowing that I am an organ donor would be enough knowledge for anyone to know that I would gladly agree to being put on life support if it gave my unborn child a fighting chance to live. I realize that not all mothers would feel the same but I can’t image that number to be very high.
I felt so much for Emma and did my best to put myself in her shoes. I loved that she was able to find a friend in Caleb. They have some common issues to relate to and they built upon their relationship in a very open and emotional way. However, Emma is a junior in high school. She claims to know her mother so well. So well that she would know that she didn’t want to be put on life support, no matter what. She is relentless when it comes to talking with her Step-Dad. She is blaming him basically for the entire situation. He wanted to the baby so bad, making her mother, who is in her forties, to use fertility drugs exposing her mother to an array of deadly risks.
But Emma is a child. Emma is not qualified to make the decision that her Step father did and I am really glad that she remarried so that the decision was not Emma’s to make.
It is my hope that many young girls read this book. It will teach you to be selfless. It will teach you to expect the unexpected. It will teach you to be prepared, as best as you can, for the unexpected. I hope that everyone who reads this will sit down with their loved ones and discuss the issue of using life support. Using extreme measures to save yourself is one thing, but to save another being within yourself is an entirely different topic.
To my husband:
I love you. Should you ever find yourself in the situation of me being pregnant and brain dead, please do everything you possibly can to save our child.
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