Monday, January 27, 2014

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

(From Goodreads)

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.


There's just something I like in a book about death and cancer and medical issues. Maybe it's that they make me ponder how I would react in a similar situation. Would I be the kind of person that becomes depressed from my ailment, or someone that decides to push past it and make something of her life while she still can? I guess I won't know unless it actually happens.

I can't imagine having a heart transplant. Through someone's death would come my life...

Amelia goes through these emotional struggles as she copes with the knowledge of a stranger's heart taking the place of her own. She begins acting...different. Not like her normal, sweet self. She's snappish and suddenly likes the color purple.

Just like Eagan.

Who, in the mean time, is experiencing a sort of afterlife...or mid-life...because she's kinda stuck in between life and death. You get to read what Eagan's life is like as it flashes before her eyes. Her mother is pretty pushy and strict about the way Eagan spends her time, wanting to make sure she becomes the best skater she can be. Eagan then dies when she messes up her triple lutz and cracks her head on the side board.

The ending was just right, if not a little weird, but I won't say anymore (just in case). :)


4 Stars

Ages 14+
(brief sexual references)


  1. Sounds like a story I might like, though I try to avoid sad books, or even saddish ones. But sometimes they are nice to read - though nice is probably the wrong word. I bet my library has this one though.

    1. Totally understandable. I cry very easily, so it might not be as sad to you as it is to me ;)


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