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In a Heartbeat

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,082 Ratings  ·  374 Reviews
For fans of Gabrielle Zevin and Lurlene McDaniel, 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 t ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Walker Childrens (first published February 2nd 2010)
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Dec 11, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
In a Heartbeat is the story of two girls and one heart. Eagan, bold and serious, is an up and coming figure skater with lots of promise. Shy Amelia has a sick heart and little time left to live—unless she gets a transplant. When Eagan falls at a competition (darn that Lutz!), hits her head on the boards, and dies, her decision to check the organ donor box on her newly-acquired driver’s license brings Amelia a second chance at life. But the gift comes with its own challenges.

Amelia takes on some
Hannah Ashworth
Jul 16, 2010 Hannah Ashworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 13 and up, for one or two sexual references
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 12, 2010 Kailia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I got this book, I wasn’t sure how I would like it. But the synopsis got me interested and I picked this book up. When I began reading, I was introduced to two girls, Eagan, the figure skater, and Amelia, the girl who needs a new heart.

In a Heartbeat began a story that I came to love. I’ve read a lot of Lurlene McDanilel’s books about heart transplants and the effects on the person who got the transplant. I loved how Loretta Ellsworth told both sides of the story, the patient and the deceas
Nov 27, 2009 Drea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2009
I was a little unsure of what to think of In a Heartbeat as I started the book. Immediately you are thrown into a duel narration between Eagan and Amelia. My main worry was that I would have no connection to Eagan since she was already dead. However, I have to give major props to Ellsworth because by the end of the book I was very sad to see Eagan go. Going back through her memories and final days really allowed me to see whom she was. It was bittersweet in a way because on one had you’re glad t ...more
May 05, 2012 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen

Ellsworth’s dual narrative explores the large and small ways medical technology forever intertwines the lives of two strangers. When 16-year-old Eagan, a figure skater with her sights on the Olympics, dies in a fall on the ice, 14-year-old Amelia receives the heart transplant that she and her family have been desperately awaiting. Trapped in a foggy limbo, Eagan must relive the defining moments of her painfully short existence before she can cross over to the hereafter. In alternating cha
Jul 02, 2011 Sami rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eagan accidentally dies in a very unusual way while figure skating. After her death Eagan is stuck between the afterlife and the life she can't seem to leave behind. Her tale is of her past, the unsaid words, the people she loved that she'd left behind, and the events in her life that shaped her. Unable to let go of her life and the people she left behind Eagan spends most of the book trying to find her way back to those memories and people she left behind.

Amelia is dying of heart failure. She i
Rea K
Mar 09, 2015 Rea K rated it really liked it
In a Heartbeat is about two girls, Amelia and Eagan. Amelia and Eagan don't know each other, but a mistake of half an inch cost Eagan her life. Amelia has a heart problem and is getting a heart transplant. She got Eagan's heart and is getting strange feelings from Eagan, who is trapped by her stress. Can they save each other?

I liked this book a lot, but I didn't really like Eagan's mom's personality. Even though I didn't like they way she acted sometimes, I know without her personality, the book
Lexi O.
Aug 18, 2012 Lexi O. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In A Heart Beat is about 2 girls Eagan and Amelia. Eagan is a 16 year old who loves figure skating and cant really see herself doing anything but skating. Amelia is is a 14 year old who loves drawing horses, she has one thing getting in the way though, Amelia has a heart problem and needs a new heart. Eagan has a skating competition on the nigh of her death and gets in a fight with her mom because her and her mom don't get along very well. Amelia ends up getting Eagans' heart because Eagan is an ...more
Jul 17, 2014 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick but somewhat deep book. I really enjoyed it. And would actually give it a 4.5 stars.

It's a story about a teenage girl, Eagan, who is a figure skater, and she's going places in her sport. But she can't seem to shake this feeling that something bad is going to happen. Well one day it does, she dies. One life is taken and another one gets a beating chance though when her heart goes to another teenager in need.

From the moment Amelia wakes up from her transplant surgery she feels th
Sep 28, 2011 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Book 4 Quarter 2: I really loved this book! It was sweet and to the point. It is about a girl named Eagan who dies in a figure skating accident and ends up donating her heart to a girl named Amelia who needs a new heart. The story follows Amelia who begins to feel and act like Eagan. While Eagan on the other hand is trapped in her past troubles with her mother. The story shows coping with a tragic loss and the adventure a girl has to find her donors family. I would recommend this book to anyone
Jul 23, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eagan has been figure-skating practically since she could walk, and she's good. Really good. It's just not feasible that she could ever hurt herself while skating. But she does. Coming down from a triple axel, Eagan lands too close to the boards, smacking her head.

Amelia has lived the past few years of her life quietly, without moving much or making too much of a fuss about anything. Amelia has a heart defect, and needs a transplant. One morning, she gets a phone call. The hospital has a heart f
Nov 15, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book so much that I read it twice. I choose this book because when I read it the first time it was a very emotional book and I really enjoy a book that can make me cry. I also choose to read this book a second time because it was an emotional roller coaster and also had many cliff hangers. Would I recommend this book only to someone who likes emotional books and many, many cliff hangers. People who don't like those probably won't like this book so I wouldn't recommend it to them. ...more
Tiffany Smith
May 06, 2015 Tiffany Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first, I wasn't sure how I would like this book. I bought it on sale from the Kindle store and forgot about it for months. The other day, I began reading it and I found myself unable to put the book down.

The story is in first person and follows two teenage girls, Eagan and Amelia. The first chapter begins with Eagan, a talented, young figure skater with dreams of participating in the Winter Olympics. Her dreams come to a screeching halt when she has a fatal accident while competing and dies
Emily Gebhardt
Jan 07, 2015 Emily Gebhardt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the most well written book i have ever read. it was touching, inspiring and down right just an amazing book. its about two characters who at the beginning of the story i couldn't imagine there paths crossing. turns out i was wrong there paths end up crossing in an unbelievable way! eagan is sophomore in high school, great skater, and a loving boyfriend. but eagan and her moms relationship is not so great they are always fighting or arguing over the smallest things. Amelia on the other ha ...more
Shanthi D
Nov 29, 2014 Shanthi D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth is a very touching story. This book is about Amelia and Eagan who are two girls that are connected by one heart. Amelia is suffering from a failing heart and is on the list to get a new heart from a donor. Eagan, who signed up to be an organ donor when she passes away, is an amazing figure skater. I feel that both of these girls are very brave because Amelia is going to be getting someone else’s heart put into her, and Eagan when she dies is going ...more
Sep 20, 2014 Heejoo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. I read this book because when I was young, I read this book in Korean, and I knew that this book was originally written in English. So I thought it would be interesting to read this book in English.

2. In this book, there are two people who tell the story. The main character Eagan and Amelia. The viewpoints alternate in chapters and when Eagan tells the story, because she had an accident from her skating competition, she’s now dead and she is in a place that’s full of greyness. She thinks back
Feb 22, 2014 Gabrielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My best friend recommended this book to me. At first I was a little hesitant on if I should read it or not. I did a little research and it had gotten good reviews so I figured I would give it a try.

The book has changed my life. I have decided that I will become an organ donor once I get my license and have a new outlook on life.

Amelia is a girl who had a heart disease she had to deal with for a very long time (6 years). One day she gets a call from the hospital saying that she would be able
Lakelyn Coppinger
Oct 24, 2014 Lakelyn Coppinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In A Heartbeat is a sad but exciting book. It's about two girls and one heart. Amelia needs a heart transplant, but has trouble finding one. The other girl is Eagan. Eagan is an ice skater that gets into an accident while ice skating. You don't really get a idea about Eagan at first, because she dies in the first couple of chapters. Later on, you find out about her past life and wish that she was still alive but atthe same time want Amelia to live.
Eagan was a hard working figure skater with an Olympic dream, while Amelia was a young teenage girl with a bad heart. All of a sudden, these two very different girls find themselves in a scary position when Eagan makes a mistake on the ice and dies shortly after that. As Amelia lives on with Eagan's heart due to a heart transplant, she must now help Eagan and her family learn to accept all the good and the bad, and move on.

I started reading this book because although my friends didn't like the s
Kirsti Call
Mar 03, 2014 Kirsti Call rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I found this story intriguing, compelling and real.

What I liked: The story is told from two points of view, Eagan, the dynamic strong figueskater who died during a competition, and Amelia who is shy, timid and has been dying for over 6 years. When Amelia get's Eagan's heart, she feels different. She becomes like Eagan and she know things about Eagan. I thought this premise was fascinating and Loretta Ellsworth does a great job of writing distinct voices for each girl. I was frustrated with the
Rosalynn Reads Stuff
I actually enjoyed In a Heartbeat more than I thought I would. The dramatic and touching events stood out to me. This book really was well written. It took me a very long time to even start the story, but once I did... Wow!

The characters were well developed, the plot easy to understand, and dialogue was relatable. Amelia suffers from heart problems, while Eagan knows she's going to die soon, stocking up on granola bars, to light bulbs, to hundreds of batteries. The chain of events also stuck ou
Ashley Reed
Feb 26, 2015 Ashley Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
okay so this book is about this girl who need a new heart and how she has a lot of troubles breathing and in the book it is mostly about how her family is trying to help her and the girl in the story she loves to draw and all she can draw are horse and that is what she has been doing most of her life after her grandmother died. Though out the hole book I cried because it was mostly about the girl and all the girl could talk in the being of the book was how would of listen to her geometry teacher ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. So much better than I expected. I'm not sure why I left it sitting on my bookshelf for so long. It made me smile, and it made me tear up. It was emotional. Great. I felt sorry for Eagan at first, but in the end where her mother said "I believed Eagan knew she would die young", I didn't feel so bad.. Because she did stash away granola bars, batteries, etc.. Like she was expecting something bad to happen. Also, I think 'Miki' in her afterlife was her baby sister who died bef ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! I already know that I want to be an organ donor when I get my license. It has changed my outlook on life. So anyway, I could really get into it and I liked how the author told the story from 2 sides, Amelia's and Eagan's. In this book you read through Amelia's risk of a heart transplant and the beginning of Eagan's afterlife. This is the kind of story that really sticks with you. It really made me think about death and the afterlife. I thought it was cool that some ...more
Eunseo Lee
Jan 24, 2013 Eunseo Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was creative and I haven't saw about like this topic. But it was kind of too easy or not impactive to the readers, and I could recognize the girl who appeared in the girl who was died was the sister of the skater girl.
Anyway, this book made me to want to read this every night and every day.
Katie Weatherford
Feb 01, 2015 Katie Weatherford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with my friend and I loved it.
I really enjoy (as I am sure you do to) to read books about things I can relate to. I can relate to this because I am a heart patent. Nothing as severe as Amelia but, I still felt as if I could relate. Another reason I liked this was because, it wasn't a "woe is me" kind of book.
(view spoiler)
Amelia Lived Because Eagan Died.


When a small mistake costs Eagan her life, she leaves many things behind-including her heart, which now lives on in Amelia's body.From Eagan's vantage point in her own version of heaven, she relives vivid memories through her still-beating heart and is distressed by her troubled relationship with her mother. Unable to move on without resolving her past, Eagan is trapped....Despite her mixed emotion of joy and guilt about her new ch
Mar 04, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good realistic fiction that highlights two girls whose lives intersect when one loses her life and the other benefits through a heart transplant. After-life issues and discussion of cellular memory make this a read with some depth.
Samantha Faith
Mar 02, 2014 Samantha Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a very touching story about two girls that are connected by one heart in one life. When a little mistake costs Egan her life her heart gets donated to Amelia who was diagnosed with heart failure and only way to live was a heart transplant. Amelia lived because of Egan, who isn't completely gone. Amelia starts taking on new characteristics; and has flashbacks of Egan's memories. Egan is trying to tell Amelia something through these memories because until Egan resolves her past she re ...more
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Does anyone else think this book could have been better?? 8 28 Feb 13, 2015 11:39AM  
The Charectors 2 13 Jul 04, 2012 01:43AM  
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Loretta received her BA from the University of Northern Iowa, and an MFA from Hamline University in writing for children and young adults. A former middle and high school teacher, she's the author of four young adult novels, The Shrouding Woman, In Search of Mockingbird,In a Heartbeat, and Unforgettable. Her WWII historical novel, And Then We Danced, will be published in 2017. She has four childre ...more
More about Loretta Ellsworth...

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“I look back to where my life had been. It's always risky to think of letting go. That's why this is the perfect ending. Nothing left to reconcile.” 69 likes
“Hearts are like stones on an ocean beach...And people are like the tides that leave permanent marks on them.” 16 likes
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