Author: Loretta Ellsworth
Release Date: February 2,2010
Publisher:Walker Books for Young Readers
For fans of Gabrielle Zevin and Lurlene McDaniel, In a Heartbeat explores the ties of family and the weight of regret when a mistake costs Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition. Left in the afterlife, reflecting on what she could have done differently, Eagan's still-beating heart is given to Amelia who has been waiting patiently for a transplant. When their thought, feelings, and dreams begin to mysteriously overlap, Amelia knows she must search for Eagan's family and find a way to give them all the closure they need move on.Review:When I got this book, I wasn’t sure how I would like it. But the synopsis got me interested and I picked this book up. When I began reading, I was introduced to two girls, Eagan, the figure skater, and Amelia, the girl who needs a new heart.
In a Heartbeat began a story that I came to love. I’ve read a lot of Lurlene McDanilel’s books about heart transplants and the effects on the person who got the transplant. I loved how Loretta Ellsworth told both sides of the story, the patient and the deceased.
The plot was well thought out and there was research behind it. The plot moved at the perfect pace, slow and steady. Since the plot was so well thought up, I could really feel all the emotions that were supposed to be felt: scared with Amelia when she learns of her heat, Eagan’s confusion, Amelia’s tiredness, Eagan’s anger and so much more. There wasn’t too much emotion or too little of it. Which brings me to the characters.
Ellsworth had great protagonists. Amelia was scared, fragile, yet so determined to live with her new heart. She knew the outcomes if the transplant went wrong yet she stayed strong. When she gets her transplant, Amelia learns to be grateful for the life she was given. Eagan is frustrated with her mother and anxious about her skating. When she dies, she is confused and though it takes a while for her to admit, scared.
Both girls come out as strong (well, Eagan moves on), young women by the end of the book. They accept the events and circumstance for what and who they are.
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth is a great, heart wrenching book about being scared, confused, living, loving, loss, grief and over all, moving on.