In a Heartbeat

by Lortetta Ellsworth
ages: 12+
First sentence: “I’m fatalistic.”
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Review copy sent to me by the publisher

Eagan is a dedicated figure skater. She’s given her whole life over to the sport, living and breathing it. Much of the reason is because her mother pressures her to do so, and when Eagan finds a boyfriend, her mom goes ballistic.

Amelia is a dying fourteen-year-old. Her heart is slowly giving out on her, and she doesn’t have much longer to live. She’s on the heart donor list, but it doesn’t look too hopeful. She’s slowly wasting away, dreaming about living.

Then, the worst happens: Eagan dies in a freak accident.

And the best happens: Amelia gets her heart.

Alternating chapters between Eagan’s and Amelia’s points of view, the book tells their stories, and how, after Amelia gets Eagan’s heart, the transplant changes both Amelia’s life and Eagan’s death. (Yeah, well, go with it.)

It sounds like an interesting idea. Or at least a not-terrible idea. And yet, it never got of the ground floor for me. It may have been because it was trying to tell two stories, and I never connected with either. I understood what Ellsworth was trying to get at, trying to find a connection in a tragedy, but it never really got there for me. I never particularly cared for the characters, and it all seemed overly melodramatic for me. It wasn’t laughably bad or cringe-worthy, but it wasn’t really exciting or even interesting either. It occupied that gray netherworld of just “meh.”


4 thoughts on “In a Heartbeat

  1. In Hungary, this book can not be obtained. I checked the shop is the most popular ( I could not find it anywhere. Someone does not know that already appeared in Hungarian?


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