Saturday, February 6, 2010

In A Heartbeat

So for my first review I picked page 14, book 15 which ended up being a book I just read (lucky me) called "In A Heartbeat" by Loretta Ellsworth. (And I added a picture! go me with my computer skills!)
Here is a short summary from amazon:
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 differentl,y 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 they all need to move on.
Told in alternating viewpoints, "In a Heartbeat" tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart.
Ok, so full disclosure here: one of my closest friends had a liver transplant a while back so reading books about this topic seem to hit close to home for me. I recently read a similar book called "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" about the exact same thing and I am pretty sure that Lurlene Mcdaniel has a similar type book as well. Obviously there is no shortage of books about this topic and for that I am grateful.
This book was great, Ellsworth compellingly tells the story of both girls pre and post transplant. We learn about Eagan's life through flashbacks she has in a sort of purgatory she's waiting in and how Amelia ultimately ended up with her heart. While the separate stories of the girls are incredibly interesting and moving, the best part of the novel is towards the end when both girls learn about each other and come to terms with life (Amelia) and death (Eagan) While I didn't sob uncontrollably at the end of this book like I did with "Elsewhere" by Gabrielle Zevin, there is a moment towards the very end that will make anyone choke up (but look closely, it's never fully explained.)
Overall, while some might think that this book reads like a slightly more literary Lurlene Mcdaniel novel, I believe it's worth the read. Amelia and Eagan's stories are heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time and anyone who has ever experienced any kind of loss will appreciate their tale.
Rating: four out of five stars.

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