Thursday, January 02, 2014

Mini Reviews: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott and Broken by C.J. Lyons

From Goodreads: Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with. But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her. Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Before I began blogging, one of my favourite YA contemporary authors was Elizabeth Scott. I’m pretty sure though that I haven’t read any of her novels since I began blogging so I decided to give her latest book, Heartbeat, a try.

Considering Heartbeat is such a character-driven novel, it’s essential that the reader love – or at least, like – its protagonist. Unfortunately, the interesting premise of Heartbeat was utterly ruined by the character of Emma! She was so incredibly mean to her loving stepfather and all woe-is-me that I didn’t even want to connect with her! (The fact that I totally disagreed with her logic may have also contributed to that.) As well, I didn’t like the romance. I thought that Caleb and Emma should have just stayed as friends because I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them.

Heartbeat will be released by Harlequin Teen on January 28, 2014. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) for free via NetGalley.  

From Goodreads: The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now ... or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does. 

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: I think I would have liked C.J. Lyons’ Broken better if it had been a straight up contemporary about a girl with Long QT trying to live a normal life with an overbearing mother or if the thriller elements had come in earlier in the novel. Had Broken been a contemporary (which is what I would have preferred), Lyons could have dealt with themes like bullying and having a seriously ill family member with more depth. On the other hand, if the thriller aspect hadn’t taken so long to come into play, there could have been a bit more suspense and the ending may not have been so rushed. Since neither of these situations occurred and I completely forgot that Broken was marketed as a thriller, the plot twist was slightly unexpected. With only one suspect in the novel, however, the only mystery was their motive. 

Broken was released by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2013. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Sourcebooks) for free via NetGalley.


  1. Usually, I like having my genres all mixed up in a single book, but sometimes it just doesn't work, and that seems to be the case with Broken. A pity, too, because I was very excited about reading it.
    As for Heartbeat, I knew right away it wouldn't be for me.
    Lovely minis! Happy new year.

  2. I've been really looking forward to Broken ever since I saw that gorgeous cover, so I'm glad it was at least a decent read for you. I don't mind knowing the "who" of a mystery upfront as long as there are other surprises worked in which seems to be the case here:)

  3. Oh, Z! *hugs* I've read Heartbeat and I didn't like it. Scott is also one of my more liked contemp authors out there and Heartbeat is just too disappointing. I hate Emma with a passion and I don't agree with her failed logic as well.

    I've never heard about Broken before, but for now I've had enough of books about hearts but I'll still add it to my TBR...just in case. ;)

  4. I've heard about the first book and it seems like a lot of people feel the same about it like you do. Although I did expect Broken to be pretty good, I can see how it's not for everyone. Great mini reviews!

  5. I don't think either of these are really for me, but I was eyeing Heartbeat at one point. I completely agree that it's important to connect with a protagonist when the book is character-driven. It's near impossible for me to enjoy it otherwise, and I'm sorry that that was the case for you, especially as you enjoyed Scott's previous books. I haven't tried any of them, but I think I'll skip this one and see if there's one I like the sound fo more. Thanks for the helpful reviews, Z!

  6. Oh no! I had a high hopes for Heartbeat and Broken. I'll still read them but I just have to really lower my expectations. Hope your next reads are better, Z!


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.