Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publication date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: An e-ARC provide by the publisher for an honest review, 100%.
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?
The unfortunate thing about it all is that any possible intrigue into this book stops there. The whole time I read it, I felt as if I was a hamster on its stupidly annoying wheel. Running around and around, never going anywhere. We have conflict between Dan, the stepfather, and Emma, but I lost all sympathy for her pretty quickly. The anger and hurt from her to him was supposed to make us feel and be emotional. But it didn't, at least not for me.
The situation: Emma was angry and hurt with her stepfather because she believes that her mother only got pregnant to make Dan happy. Once her mother went brain-dead, the doctor gave Dan the choice to either keep the baby alive by putting tubes into his wife or pull the plug. Obviously, he chose to keep his baby son alive. Emma believed that Dan pushed her mother into this horrible fate and once she died, only was using her to gain what he wanted. After he he got what he wanted, he would throw away his wife without a care in the world. To Emma, the years they spent as a family meant nothing to him, that he didn't love either of them.
My problem: I wanted to say that Emma sounded like a thirteen year old, but I sounded more mature than that at thirteen. Of course, that's not good considering that she's seventeen. Seventeen! A senior in high school, getting ready for college, supposedly used to be the top in her class; and how does she act? Like an immature kid who only sees her narrow way and no one else's. Whenever she has a confrontation with Dan (which happened frequently), he tries to tell her his side and she refuses to hear it, only attempting to be cuttingly sarcastic and wanting to win at the blame game.
The situation: CALEB.
My problem: While they "knew" each other before, it still felt like insta-love. Caleb starts staring at her and she finds that compelling. Wait a second. A guy, who has stolen cars and did drugs and has gone to rehab, is staring creepily at you and you're captivated and you SWOON? She swoons! If that happened to me, I would avoid all contact and be very paranoid. Not just because of his past, but because creepily staring is creepy. Another bad side to Caleb is how Emma acts with Caleb. I lost count of how many times she says "Caleb is the only one who understands." If I lost count of how many times she said that, I lost count of how many times I rolled my eyes throughout the whole book. She suddenly replaces her best friend with this guy, acts as if they are meant to be because he is the "only one who understands" her, and I'm supposed to like them as a couple?
The situation: The ending.
My problem: A pet peeve of mine is when things are wrapped up too neatly and too quickly. This is was one of those books that seemed like there was a fairy flying around and waved her wand so poof! it's fixed! Actually, having a fairy in this story would have made it way better.
Weirdly enough, I didn't DNF it. Why waste my time? I went through this whole book with no connection to the character and lots of eye rolling, but I kept going.
Good: I thought after Emma kept rehashing
Good: It was a quick read.
Just a few eye-roll worthy quotes:
"I don't even know what a gallbladder is."
"It helps with digestion, but you don't have to have one, especially if it gets infected. Or if you get gallstones."
"Oh," Caleb says, leaning forward a little and looking at the ground. His hair falls over his face again. "You really are smart. I mean, I knew you were because of all the classes you're in, but still."
THAT is smart? You're honestly impressed that she knows what a gallbladder is? You both are SENIORS in high school.
No one can make things better, but Caleb...Caleb gets it in a way no one else does.
On page 125 and I feel like she's said it 125,000 times.
It's Caleb. And he's awake.
You have to read the book to actually get this one, but really, you thought he would be asleep? Did you want to watch him sleep? YOU CAME TO HIS HOUSE AT NIGHT. I don't get this.
"You're supposed to be asleep," I say, and Caleb stares at me.
Oh. Well, apparently, she did want him to be asleep. And now Caleb is not the official creepy one.
[insert one of her many rants toward Dan]
Blah, blah, whine, blah, blah, whine, blah
Blah, blah, whine, blah, blah, whine, blah
While it was an interesting concept, it lacked execution. Overall, it was an annoying meh bordering on an angry ugh, if that makes sense.
Verdict: Annoying aspects to a potentially great plot that gave my eyes a workout from all the rolling.