Tatiana's Reviews > In a Heartbeat

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth
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's review
Nov 26, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 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 of Eagan’s personality traits, such as a sassy mouth and a partiality for the color purple. Spookiest of all, Amelia seems to know things she can’t possibly know: her donor was a girl and she liked purple lollipops, and she was an athlete…a skater. Soon Amelia is on a journey to meet the family of her donor.

Meanwhile, Eagan is dwelling in an “in between place,” reliving moments from her life, whether happy or sad. She has a lot to sort out, from her rocky relationship with her mother to why she had always planned for the worst. Can she reconcile and move on? And can Amelia learn to accept her gift?

I didn’t read the author’s note until I was finished with the narrative, but I could feel the real grief, and then later, the relief of someone who lost a loved one searching for solace in knowing a part of that loss lives on. Reading the last few chapters, especially, gave me tons of chills. It felt real. I don’t know how much of this phenomenon is scientifically sound, gaining the characteristics, cravings, etc., of one’s donor. But I kind of like the idea. It’s very…comforting, in a way.

It’s a quick read; the chapters are short, going back and forth between the girls’ POV. You might be able to predict some of the twists like I did, just because they weren’t concealed that well. But don’t read this for the plot. Read it for the meaning: live and love generously, voraciously, while you have the opportunity.
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Reading Progress

November 26, 2010 – Shelved
November 26, 2010 – Shelved as: young-adult
December 9, 2010 – Started Reading
December 11, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-5)

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message 5: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Looks like this book combined your two favorite things: YA and figure skating! :) I think you'll like Unwind by Neal Shusterman if you liked the ideas of gaining the characteristics of a one's donor. (Of course, his is also YA and extremely sad.)

Tatiana Thanks for the rec! It's added to my to-read list. :) *hug*

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

There is a book where this really happened which is called Change of Heart. The one who received the heart woke up wanting a beer as the guy who died on his motorcyle always drank beer. Its a true story.

Chloe Who do you think miki represented ?

Chloe Who do you think miki represented ?

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