{Review} The Heartbeat Hypothesis by Lindsey Frydman


FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Entangled Publishing (via NetGalley).
{Review} The Heartbeat Hypothesis by Lindsey FrydmanThe Heartbeat Hypothesis by Lindsey Frydman
Publisher: Entagled Embrace on March 20, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
Pages: 282

Our Rating

5 Stars

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.

The Heartbeat Hypothesis by Lindsey Frydman

The Hook: Audra knows she wouldn’t be here if not for the death of another young girl whose heart now beats in Audra’s chest.  It’s a tough place to be in, glad to be alive but knowing someone else paid the price.  Curious and wanting to pay some kind of tribute to the girl whose life was cut short, she sets out to recreate the fun pictures Emily once posted on tumblr, falling into step with Emily’s brooding, confusing, and kind brother along the way.  Being alive at the expense of someone else isn’t an easy road to walk…

The Verdict:  I soooooo lucked out with this one.  Oddly enough, I’d seen it mentioned somewhere but failed to bookmark it, and without having memorized the title or author name, I figured I’d never find it again…until the publicist just happened to contact me.  Of course I jumped at the chance to get a copy!  I normally stay away from books that have the potential to be overwhelmingly angsty, and with a plot like this one, The Heartbeat Hypothesis definitely looked like it fit into that category.  But I found the idea for the story just fascinating, so I crossed my fingers and got to reading.

Audra felt more real to me than the few other characters I’ve “met” whose lives have been saved by organ donation.  Sure, she felt bad for Emily, and perhaps even more so for Emily’s brother Jake, but she wasn’t drowning in guilt; she was happy to be be alive.  That’s not to say she ran around celebrating, but she was quick to admit, at least to herself, that she was fortunate.

Jake was absolutely confounding.  He seemed stand-offish (understandable, right), and then uncaring, and then curious, and then kind, and then distant, and then… I suppose he simply lived the spectrum of emotions typical of anyone who not only had a pretty terrible upbringing but also lost the one person he was close to.  His character had me spinning, trying to guess what he was thinking the same way that Audra was always working to figure him out.  And as frustrating as that was, I loved it because he, too, seemed so much more real than the cookie-cutter men we normally get in books with a romantic spin.

But The Heartbeat Hypothesis is not your typical NA romance novel.  It’s about growing up, cherishing life experiences, healing, and dealing with the past.  It’s also about the most unexpected and traumatic loss that’s ever blown me away in a book, but even that (as much as I wanted to punch my Kindle) somehow fit the story perfectly.  Audra and Jake are both extraordinary in what they have experienced and utterly normal in what they want.  They’re both broken in some ways and more than perfect to help each other move forward.  Between the sweet, somewhat innocent budding relationship and the hell from Jake’s past that Audra finds herself in the middle of, I simply couldn’t put this book down.

Was it angsty?  Definitely.  But it wasn’t too much, and I’m kind of floored by the awesomeness that is Lindsey Frydman’s imagination.  She could have made the book all about the heart transplant or Jake’s awful childhood or the craziness of college or even that one part that caught me so by surprise I had to reread it just to make sure I had it right.  Instead, Frydman’s story is simply about two young people who just happen to have all that other stuff going on and are still just trying to figure out who they are and what their next step in life should be.  The Heartbeat Hypothesis is an achingly beautiful story of young love and friendship in a painfully real world — and it’s Frydman’s debut novel?!?  This is the kind of book you stay up all night to read in one sitting.  I need to find a way to put myself on an automatic pre-order list for whatever she publishes next!

The Breakdown
Cover Design
5 star rating
Plot & Pace
5 star rating
5 star rating
Style & Editing
5 star rating
Story Conclusion
5 star rating
Overall Rating 5 star rating

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.

Author: ysar

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