The Heartbeat Hypothesis
by Lindsey Frydman
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Audra Madison simply wanted to walk in the shoes of Emily Cavanaugh, a free-spirited teenager who died too young. After all, Audra wasn’t supposed to be here.
Thanks to Emily, Audra has a second chance at life. She’s doing all the things that seemed impossible just two years ago: Go to college. Date. Stargaze in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe get a tattoo. You know, live.
Jake Cavanaugh, a photographer with mysterious, brooding gray eyes, agrees to help chronicle her newfound experiences. She makes him laugh, one of the only people who can these days. As they delve into each other’s pasts – and secrets – the closer they become.
But she’s guarded and feels like she can’t trust anyone, including herself.
And he’s struggling with the fact that his beloved sister’s heart beats inside her.
My Review – 3 Stars
This book started out light-hearted and hopeful. I was feeling a sense of peace and happiness in Audra and Jake’s interactions. Jake, who was brooding over his sister’s death, appeared to have an affinity for the sweet and innocent Audra. He allowed himself to smile when with her. She gave him a reason to be when he had nothing left but the beauty of his pictures. I had such high expectations for this pair. In the second half of the book, there seemed to be an over abundance of drama and tragedy. Too many plot bunnies abounded through the pages of this story. It almost felt like the author had all of these ideas and then ran out of steam or pages in which to write. The mystery of Jake’s past and family was confusing and unresolved. I felt like we needed Jake’s point of view to understand it all, especially since he wasn’t much of a talker and was unwilling to share his past and feelings with Audra.
This book was different than what I expected. I thought it was going to be a lighter story of Audra’s history and new lease on life as well as the growing friendship and love between Audra and Jake. While we got some of that, it was more about Audra struggling to figure out Jake. She spent the majority of her time asking questions she should have avoided. Why was he so damaged? How did his sister die? How did he feel about her? She couldn’t just let him be. And, in doing so, she opened up pain that he wasn’t ready to deal with and certainly didn’t wish to share with her. Which in turn, caused more devastation and confusion for them both.
Overall, I liked the author’s writing style and artful descriptions of the photography, but I felt lost at the end instead of healed. In Audra’s picking at Jake’s pain, she made some discoveries in regard to his sister’s death, his childhood, and his current state of mind that neither of them were prepared to address or confront. There was so much potential here for a beautiful and healing story about grief and depression, but it fell short. The ending was abrupt with no resolution to Jake’s open wounds or Audra’s despair. Yes, we got the obligatory conclusion that “everything will be fine” and “we’re going to be in love if we aren’t already” ending, but I was left unsatisfied and confused.
ABOUT LINDSEY FRYDMAN
Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.