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In a Heartbeat

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,668 ratings  ·  435 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 th ...more
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Walker Childrens
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,668 ratings  ·  435 reviews


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Tatiana
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Hannah Ashworth
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sami
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Drea
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Kirsten
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
Rea K
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Caitlin
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
4.5 stars

I picked this up because it's been sitting on my shelf for way too long. I was starting to feel guilty that I was avoiding it because of the cover (because let's be honest, the cover is awful), so I just bit the bullet and started reading it. I had low expectations, but I'm honestly very impressed. This book was so touching, and even though the characters were young, their voices didn't bother me as much as some other young characters I've read, or at all for that matter. They felt so r
...more
Abby Meiers
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I couldn't put it down. I also got a little teared up from a couple of parts. I really liked the way the author told two stories but put into one book. She split the two stories up. The first chapter was talking about Eagan. The second one was talking about Amelia and it just kept going like that. One thing I didn't was that the author didn't make me feel like I was there with them. She didn't us describing words like most books do. Overall I did really like this book.
BellsBubble
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was good, I honestly don't know why I read it, it's about a sixth grader reading level, but it was still fun. Definitely one to finish in one seating. My only complaint is that sometimes I would forget who's perspective I was reading from, and considering the plot, this should be obvious. Overall, 3/5



I'm still a bit sad that there was a lot of death :(
Lexi O.
Aug 18, 2012 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
Crystal
Feb 27, 2014 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
...more
Alicia
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 02, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Hayley Pieper
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such an AMAZING book. It is a very sad story but has a lot of meaning to it. It has a lot of turning points and the story is so inspiring. Is about a girl named Eagan who dies in a skating performance. Then there is a girl named Amelia who has heart failure. She finally gets a heart donor and the heart that she gets is Egans. Amelia goes and meets the parents of Eagan and then her journey begins there. It goes back and forth between the dead girl Eagan, and the alive girl named Amelia wi ...more
Lakelyn Coppinger
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Christie Tulloch
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In a Heartbeat was a sad, rather heartwarming and charming story about a 14 year old girl who donates her heart to a girl who needs a heart transplant as a last chance. Amelia and Eagan are two girls who tell their story and save eachothers lives. Loretta Ellsworth is a charming author and I would read this heartwarming book again.
Amy
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Eunseo Lee
Jan 24, 2013 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.
Karen
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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...
Eanaa
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cup-of-tea
When I first bought this in the past which was in 2011, I was reluctant to read this book. Probably because I was young and had apphensive feelings regarding death. Even now, an acquaintance death affects me greatly but I'm glad I managed to go through with this book until the end. I actually made a random choice and groaned when this book was chosen but when I finally start, I didn't regret anything. It was probably just my fear getting in the way of me reading this book.

This book doesn't talk
...more
Heather
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a great read In a Heartbeat was. This was basically a story of two girls and one heart. I loved how the author told the story from both Amelia's and Eagan's points of view. Af first I wasn't sure about Eagan's narration since she was already dead, but the author did it well, and by the end I was sorry to see her go.

Both girls were relatable and I thoroughly enjoyed following Amelia's story as she struggled to adjust to her new heart and the inexplicable changes that occurred after her opera
...more
Natalie
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Amelia needs a heart. She doesn't know i she'll get one before her heart gives out. She's lived most of her young life avoiding activity, stress, and school. Eagan has always wanted to be an Olympic skater. She and her mom don't get along, but they both agree on her skating. Then tragedy strikes and Eagan dies in the middle of a competition.

Now Amelia gets a new heart but she can't explain why she has a new craving for purpose, skating, and exercise in general.

Told from both girls' points of vi
...more
Lisa
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Great book for MS kiddos to read. Reading level is a 2.2, and Lexile is HL580
I have this on the shelf at school and wanted a quick read, so I could booktalk it to kiddos, to encourage them to check it out from the library. At the very beginning you are thrown into 2 narratives, Eagen and Amelia and it flips back and forth thru the entire book. A lot of my kiddos find this confusing, but I feel that if they stick with it, for a few chapters, they can keep it straight, as well as enjoy the book ab
...more
Hannah
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a really well thought out book about 2 girls, where one is dead and one is alive. The author shares both stories of these girls and what there going through in their lives. Amelia and Eagan are both 2 very strong girls throughout the book. Amelia understand what’s going on and knows that if her heart doesn’t work then she could die but Eagan at first is very confused after she dies and somewhat scared but both of them are inspiring in life and death. I think this book has a really ...more
Carro Herdegen
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language - PG (27 swears, 0 "f"), Sexual Content - G; Violence - G
When Eagan dies in an ice-skating accident, her heart is given to Amelia. After the transplant, Amelia starts taking on characteristics of Eagan which drives her to find Eagan's family to get the closure they all need to move on.
I thought this was a very interesting book. It was weird and a little creepy when Amelia started taking on characteristics of Eagan, but it was an overall good book.
Reviewed for https://kissthebook.blogspo
...more
Jessie
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow this book came to me at such a relevant time in my life! My cousin just passed away in March after a transplant rejection, so I have obsessively been thinking about the meaning of life and been researching organ donation like crazy. I also started up figure skating lessons, am a huge horse lover and I’m constantly drawing, so seriously this book consisted of everything I love. Don’t take anything for granted, especially your health and every beautiful day you’re alive!
Maddie Dec
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This story is about two girls, Amelia and eagan. One wrong move at the figure skating competition costed Eagan her life, but her heart was still going. Amelia had developed a heart problem witch almost killed her. Eagans heart had been donated to Amelia.
"Amelia lived because eagan died".
Anya
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so sad and interesting and I cried a lot and it's my favorite book ever! The author us so descriptive, and it's awesome! I wouldn't put this book down, it was so good! I write my own stories and read them to my family, and after reading it, it helped me write, and be more descriptive!
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Does anyone else think this book could have been better?? 8 29 Feb 13, 2015 11:39AM  
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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, Stars Over Clear Lake, will be published in 2017. She has four chil ...more
“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.” 74 likes
“Hearts are like stones on an ocean beach...And people are like the tides that leave permanent marks on them.” 19 likes
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