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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

[MINI REVIEW] In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

In A Heartbeat

Author: Loretta Ellsworth
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: February 2nd 2010 by Walker Childrens
When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.

When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different—dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy—her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.

Told in alternating viewpoints, In a Heartbeat tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart.


My thoughts

Simple and good. The plot is interesting but there's not much twist and weight to the story. But I liked it. I even cried towards the end. I mean, it's always so sad when someone so young and promising and vibrant dies so suddenly. It's tragic and I kinda wished Eagan didn't die, but then how about Amelia, right? 

There are just some things I'm quite not satisfied with. Like, Eagan's mom's skating career wasn't explored in the story. If she used to be a good skater, why did she stop? How did Eagan's baby sister die? Why did her family keep it from her? What happened to the rocking chair? Was Amelia able to get rid of those nasty habits (e.g. talking back) she 'got' from Eagan? I also didn't like the idea that Eagan just checked that 'organ donor' box on her driver's license just because she didn't want to stand in a long line again. 

Thinking of these unanswered questions made me feel frustrated and disappointed. It was like reading an unfinished book. Honestly, I didn't even realize I was heading towards the end. I was waiting for some back stories and I was like "That's it?"

But still I can say it's a good read. I enjoyed this book okay.


Favorite lines

"Hearts are like stones on an ocean beach. And people are like the tides that leave permanent marks on them."
author image

Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!


  1. I do wonder if we suddenly get "characteristics" or "traits" when we get a heart transplant at all o_o That sounds like a pretty weird premise to me, but it sounds like this one at least was able to make you emotional, so there's that ^^ Great review! I'll probably check it out, but not ready for another "organ donor" contemporary just yet. I just read one by Kirby and it was emotionally draining~

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Faye! I once saw a TV series with the same premise as this book, but personally I don't think it's possible to acquire your donor's traits. I agree it's weird. :)

      Ooohh, what book is that?


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