In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

I was trawling through my digital library for some adhub novels to read, but stumbled across this YA novel and decided to add it to my reading list. I'm so glad I did!

Blurb: In a Heartbeat explores the ties of family and the weight of regret when a mistake costs Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition. Left in the afterlife, reflecting on what she could have done differently, Eagan's still-beating heart is given to Amelia who has been waiting patiently for a transplant. When their thought, feelings, and dreams begin to mysteriously overlap, Amelia knows she must search for Eagan's family and find a way to give them all the closure they need move on.

The Good: Right from the beginning, In a Heartbeat deals with a really horrible idea - what if by hoping that you will live, you are actually hoping someone else will die? That's the dilemma Amelia faces, because the only way she can get a new heart is if someone else dies. That someone happens to be Eagan, a beautiful figure skater with her whole life ahead of her. I thought that this novel deals with the concept of life and death beautifully and I found Ellsworth's exploration of grief really touching.

The Bad: You know the entire story from the blurb--there are no real surprising twists, or extreme tension. But thanks to the character development, and the emotions this novel deals with, I didn't find it much of a bother at all.

Extra tid-bits: 1) I must admit, I could have been so taken with this book because it resonated with me on a personal level--my brother died when he was the same age as Eagan.

2) I cried at the end!

3) Caution: If you are not an organ donor yet, you may change your mind thanks to this book.

The Verdict: A touch, poignant tale of grief and the joy that can come from it. Highly recommended.

Writer's Block NZ's Verdict: 9/10



Loretta Ellsworth said...

Thank you for the nice review, Dawn. I've received many emails from readers who have lost close family members and I'm so sorry about your brother - my story was inspired by my nephew who died in a motorcycle accident. And thank you also for encouraging organ donation - so many lives lost every day because people don't consider it during their time of grief.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

A great review with a message.


Dawn Embers said...

Great review JJ.

I don't like sad but this does sound like an interesting book. I'd rather cry from a book than a movie any day. I'm actually already listed as an organ donor (have since I got my first driver's license) so I'm good to go.

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