Book Review: Heartbeat (Heartbeat #1) by Faith Sullivan

Katie and Adam are afraid of love.

She carries the scars of a first kiss gone terribly wrong.

He uproots his life to flee the stinging betrayal of an ex.

When trust is no longer an option, all romance is suspect.

As a young paramedic, Adam rescues people for a living but cannot save himself. Katie, just out of high school, struggles with a tortured home life she cannot escape.

Everything changes when Katie hops into the front seat of Adam's ambulance. Overwhelmed by what they are feeling, neither possess the confidence to make the first move. They walk away from each other, full of regret.

To find her, Adam risks his future. To be with him, Katie sacrifices her security.

Little do they know, what little time they do have, is being measured by a heartbeat that is slowly dying out.

Release Date:  February 5, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Source: Review copy from author

Reading the summary, you would think that Heartbeat is a typical contemporary New Adult story.  And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with the typical storyline of New Adult fiction (it's quickly becoming one of my favorite escapism genres), Heartbeat offered something more and I loved that.  Faith Sullivan takes a huge risk with Heartbeat and I appreciate that kind of confidence and deviation from the norm.

I found Heartbeat just a little bit slow to start, and actually stopped reading for a couple of weeks, but once I picked the book back up, I found it impossible to put down.  What I liked about this story (besides the risk of the ending) was all of the different elements Sullivan winds into the plot.  Between the trauma of Katie's history and her home life, as well as her persistent health problems, and Adam's heartbreak over his first love gone wrong, there was a lot more to Heartbeat than I expected.  Katie has a weakened immune system and gets sick very often and can't hold down a job because of her health.  I have an immune deficiency and also can't work because of my recurrent infections and so I really identified with Katie.  She is also shy and hesitant to even talk to Adam and that endeared her to me even more.  

Besides the fact that the plot explored all of these elements, Sullivan went one step further and ended Heartbeat with a twist I never saw coming.  The ending of Heartbeat reminded me of something Gayle Forman would do, and I mean that in the most flattering way.  I finished the book with so many questions.   There was so much emotion and I loved that Sullivan kept me guessing long after I finished the book.  I actually emailed Sullivan to ask her one important thing, and she wrote me back (which was so thrilling) and gave me a clue, which prompted me to go back and re-read Heartbeat.  That's something I never do and that alone speaks to the intensity of this book.

Had Heartbeat had the ending I was expecting, it probably would have been just like any other NA series.  Good, but ultimately forgettable.  I find that the stories start to run together, as they often have the same plot points and themes.  I admire Sullivan's courage to change things up.

My one complaint about Heartbeat was how quickly Katie and Adam's relationship moves.  After their initial encounter, they did not meet again for a while and each built the other up in their minds as the perfect person.  When they finally do meet again the relationship moves really, really quickly.  It felt like they were already committed to each other mentally before they ever met again physically.  I was happy for Katie and Adam but wondered at the plausibility of two people falling in love so quickly.

However, this complaint was small in comparison to how good the story was.  I immediately started book two, Come What May, and now my only complaint is that I have to wait until October to read book three, I Am Yours, the conclusion to the series.  If you're a fan of NA contemporary fiction, I recommend Heartbeat.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Ashley! It's a great read and you won't be disappointed!


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