Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The premise of Heartbeat is a little over-the-top: a pregnant woman is kept alive until the fetus reaches the point of viability (25 weeks, in case you were wondering). This is told from the point-of-view of Emma, the 17-year-old daughter of Lisa, who greatly resents her stepfather's choice. From her perspective her mother is dead but she still has to see Mom every day in the hospital - making it difficult to truly grieve and move on. Emma's grades have plummeted, she's going through the motions and hates her stapfather. Hates.
Then along comes Caleb. Every school has a Caleb: the troubled boy who does drugs, steals cars, doesn't always come to school and when he does there's a forcefield around him. He's doing community service in the hospital and sees Emma's distress.
Predictable? Yes. But the writing and the exploration of grief and loss elevate this from the normal "girl with dead mother" book.
ARC provided by publisher.