Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In a Heartbeat - Book Review

First book read in the new year, and so the first official book review of the new year... on the 11th. Oh yeah, it's 1/11/11 -- but I'm waiting for the ultimate 11/11/11 at 11:11 for that ultimate wish.

Back onto the whole book review thing.

In a Heartbeat, by Loretta Ellsworth.

See, this is why I prefer suspense and psychological thrillers -- because I don't like it when books make me cry. Okay, that's a lie, but I'd like a little warning so that my eyes don't start to tear up in a public place. However, I will have to commend any author who can do that. I don't think it's an easy feat to accomplish, and is done better not in a straightforward description, but by what the characters say -- or even don't say.

Now that I've opened with that little tidbit, what is this book really about? A heart. One girl dies in a freak ice-skating accident. Another girl is dying of a sick heart. Eagan, the ice-skater, was an organ donor. So Amelia is lucky to get her heart. Each girl gets her say in the novel, every other chapter, as Eagan deals with being dead, and Amelia deals with the grief and gratitude of knowing she has someone else's heart beating inside her chest.

It's not a bad read, but not a great one. I don't believe in wasting my time on a book I don't like, and I read through it, so that says something. The book had two very distinct, very different characters, so the author did a good job of separating them, even after Amelia began to take on the characteristics of her donor. The author had a good voice throughout, and succeeded in portraying anger without needing to use exclamation points. I'd say some of the guys were a bit unrealistic, but overall, this was a decent book.

One little detail I also thought was cool, each chapter begins with the chapter number, and the name of the character the chapter's point of view is in. Through the chapter numbers run a heart line. The one's in Amelia's chapters keep beating, whereas Eagan's flatline. I just thought that was interesting and cool that such a small detail was stuck in there.

All in all, I wouldn't read it again, but it's a good book to read at least once. Go ahead and pull In a Heartbeat off the library shelf and check it out.

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