Having never read a book by this author, I was curious to see if the promise in the book blurb could live up to my expectations, and provide a heroine that was less interested in what new boy was coming, than learning to deal with the hand that life has dealt. And I was pleasantly surprised to find an emotional and captivating read.
Emma is seventeen and her entire life is in an uproar: she is angry, spiteful, snappy and particularly hateful: as only a teenager can manage. Yet, this is not without reason as she is grieving her mother’s absence: kept alive on life-support by her stepfather to allow her pregnancy to proceed. A horrific circumstance to deal with at any age, but as a teen, with a stormy relationship with her stepfather who has made a decision she does not agree with. If she were older, learning to cope and move forward would be an appropriate reaction, but at seventeen, able to see your mother yet not communicate or be comforted in any way is almost too cruel to bear. Understandably dislikable, Emma will have to learn to cope and move forward, but I was surprised at how invested I became in her thoughts and life early in the story.
Caleb is meant to be the love interest, but his maturity and ability to help Emma see her own shortcomings, and start to think of herself as not alone: she doesn’t hold the trump card on pain and suffering. Caleb gives Emma something to focus on beside her own issues, and in sharing his own suffering and difficulties with her, and their reaching to one another to find support and understanding helps the story from sliding into a Gordian knot of one double-edged sword of a decision or action to another.
Yes, Emma does grow and realize that not everything is as black and white as she first saw it, and there is a moment of hope in moving on and learning to live again after such a tragedy. More than once I found myself wondering if she would slide over the edge and her anger would rush her into rash acts, but she always seemed to pull away from her worst threats: first just because I feel she was so confused, and later because of the reliance and comfort she found with Caleb. Less a romance and more an emotional family drama that deals with situations and questions that are difficult at best, this was a solid read that will be a favorite of many.
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Genre: Literary Fiction /Family Saga, Teen Reads
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦Audible
Life. Death. And...Love?
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?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.