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In a Heartbeat

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  2,517 ratings  ·  321 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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Tatiana
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
...more
Hannah Carew
Jul 16, 2010 Hannah Carew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Kailia
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
...more
Drea
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
Kirsten

Summary
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
...more
Sami
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
...more
Crystal
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
...more
Alicia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2remias_rachel


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
...more
emily
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
...more
Emily Gebhardt
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
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
Heejoo
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
...more
Gabriela
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.

PLOT:
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
...more
Lakelyn Coppinger
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.
Agnes
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
...more
Kirsti Call
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
...more
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
...more
Katie
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
Hope
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
Amy
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
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
Olivia
This book(in my oppinion) will definently leave you wanting more.With an enteresting plot that twist and turns in every chapter.In this novel there are two main characters,Amelia and Eagan.Eagen a skilled figure skater who signs up for the rights of donating her organs when she dies,ever does she know that her life will come to an end sooner than she thought.Amelia is a young girl whos about to have a heart transplant.The donnar is no other than Eagan,who tragically passed away in a car crash.Af ...more
Karen
I like how this book started out and where it started to go, but I don't think the end was quite up to the rest of the story...I liked how the story alternated between points of view...
Emma
This book was really fun to read and very hooking finished it in one weekend and I don't regret it!!!! The whole plot line was just amazing and very interesting! I like how the chapters are separated by points of views of the characters I did very much like the ending of the book! I would very much indeed recommend this book to a friend as I was recommended to read it! It is not very often that I finish a book in a weekend especially if it is over 200 pages it usually takes me at least two weeks ...more
Adrianne Snyder
This book is defiantly one of my favorites! it was a new book in my school library, and really caught my eye. but it was not the pretty pink cover that got my attention, it was the heart monitor lines across the front. interestingly enough, I could really relate to both characters in this book. But that's because I had a heart transplant of my own about 14 years ago.
So most of the medical things in this story I already knew about. I would suggest this book to anyone with medical or heart touchi
...more
booknerdkim
This is a very sweet story about a girl who receives another's heart. Amelia has been sick for years and her only hope is a heart transplant. Eagan is a promising young figure skater who has a freak fall while skating, and ends up being Amelia's donor.

This book touches on a phenomenon called cellular memory. Amelia's personality is different after the transplant, and also senses some things about her donor, as if she has told her herself.

Witting wise, it is a very quick read. It is clean in ter
...more
Maddie
In a Heartbeat is a great book for kids my age to read. It is a little bit hard to understand but you get to understand what the whole concept of the book is after about 100 pages in to the book. The book is about a girl named Eagan who loses her heart and "leaves many things behind". Her heart is left behind for Amelia who needs a heart transplant. Eagan is unable to move on to heaven without resolving her past. Amelia has to try to help save Eagan. Over all it is a great book at the end and I ...more
Ellie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie (StephTheBookworm)
Eagan, a 16 year old figure skater, makes one tiny mistake at her competition, and bangs her head and dies on the spot. With her death comes a new beginning for 14 year old Amelia, who receives Eagan’s heart through a transplant, and a shot at a new life, one without illness and restraints with this new, fully functioning heart. After the transplant, Amelia has taken on strange new characteristics – an interest in figure skating, a rocky relationship with her mother – all traits from Eagan. Have ...more
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Does anyone else think this book could have been better?? 7 26 Jun 28, 2013 06:44PM  
The Charectors 2 13 Jul 04, 2012 01:43AM  
Reading Log #4 2 12 Jan 07, 2012 06:14AM  
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  • All Unquiet Things
  • The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped
  • Tell Me a Secret
  • Invisible Girl
  • Every Little Thing in the World
  • So Many Boys (The Naughty List, #2)
  • After the Kiss
  • The Anti-Prom
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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 three young adult novels, The Shrouding Woman, In Search of Mockingbird, and In a Heartbeat. She has four children and one granddaughter, and lives in Minnesota.
More about Loretta Ellsworth...
In Search of Mockingbird Unforgettable In a Heart Beat The Shrouding Woman in a Heartbeat

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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.” 67 likes
“Hearts are like stones on an ocean beach...And people are like the tides that leave permanent marks on them.” 12 likes
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