Age: Young Adult (YA)
Release date: February 2nd, 2010
Source: Around the World Tours
Summary (from goodreads):
When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.
When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different -- dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy -- her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan's life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure that they all need to move on.
In A Heartbeat has a unique idea: that when Amelia receives a new heart, she begins to act more like Eagon (her donor). Her likes/dislikes shift, and even her attitude.
Even with such an intriguing idea, I was bored throughout the story. The story was simple, sweet, but very easy to forget about. Every time I turned a page through Amelia's narrative, I wanted to stop, or at least skip ahead to Eagon's narrative. For Amelia, all that really happens is that Amelia gets a heart. Amelia starts acting differently. Amelia meets a boy. Amelia wants to meet Eagon's family, et cetera, et cetera...I couldn't connect with her in any way.
Eagon herself is caught in her own little world of memories. These moments were intriguing, definitely more interesting than Amelia's part of the story, but I still wasn't enjoying the novel. Her relationship with her mother and skating was interesting, and her side of the story seemed to be the more touching. I found Eagon to be a bit more developed than Amelia, and her story seemed to be wrapped up neatly by the end. I would have actually preferred the story to be narrated by Eagan entirely, even if I disliked her character, because she was more dynamic.
Highlights: Ellsworth got creative, and the idea of gaining similar tastes/likes for things your donor liked was very intriguing and interesting.
Lowlights: I really had a hard time liking Amelia, both before and after the surgery. The story seemed a bit flat. I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it either.