Feb 23, 2010

In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

Nobody dies while figure skating; that's just not normal. Sadly, such is the reality for sixteen-year-old figure skater Eagan. Just a fraction of an inch would have kept her from hitting her head on the board at the rink during her performance. She could have lived and possibly gone on to the Olympics one day had it not been for that fraction of an inch.

As it is, her unfortunately early demise, allowed sick fourteen-year-old Amelia to get a new heart. She has been sick for so long her parents had to install a sliding chair in their staircase for her to get to her bedroom. Now, simply because Eagan checked the "Organ Donor" box on her driver's license, Amelia has another shot at life.

Told through alternating points of view, In a Heartbeat is an incredibly moving book. We get little glimpses into what both girls' lives are like before and after the accident. That tragically happy accident may have deprived one girl of her dreams and one family of a future with that child, but it also gave another family hope that their daughter could have a future at all. While Eagan and Amelia are polar opposites on the personality spectrum, they both have such a life drive that they cannot seem to shake. As the story progresses the girls seem to take on more and more of each others' personalities even though they never meet.

Both girls are strong, independent characters that were well-rounded. There was the potential for them to fall flat (over-the-top athlete and sick kid) and I found them standing out more and more. They both had little mannerisms and habits that spoke more loudly of their personalities and essence than any description ever could. I found the writing to be quite plain, which only added more emphasis to the actual story and not the delivery.

A truly heart-wrenching, tear-flooding tale, In a Heartbeat is an incredibly powerful novel. Loretta Ellsworth really hit the nail on the head with this storyline. I felt so much raw emotion and vulnerability without having to wade through a bunch of layers to get to it. The romance plot line was a little obvious, but necessary in order to bring the metamorphosis full-circle. Give it a shot, it's a quick read at only 195 pages. I promise at the end you will feel uplifted and rejuvenated.


Anne said...

Ooh! I've read a few differant reviews on this book and I'm super excited to read it!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Ooh, I've been intrigued by this book ever since I heard about it for the first time! Can't wait to get my copy! Thanks for the great review! :D

swiggett said...

This is a very interesting premise. Look forward to reading this!

BettyMc (Reflections with Coffee) said...

One of the best reviews I've read about this book. You've a way with words.

loreleimarsh said...

Why thank you. I do try to really capture the book in my reviews. :)