Cover Image: The Heartbeat Hypothesis

The Heartbeat Hypothesis

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Sometimes a book just kind of hits you in the gut and that is exactly what happened with The Heartbeat Hypothesis. I’m extremely impressed by new author Lindsey Frydman and this story is unique and refreshingly honest and while there was a bit more angst than I normally enjoy, with these characters it was fully warranted. Gut wrenching yet hopeful; The Heartbeat Hypothesis was an emotionally charged and complex story.

This review is going to be short because this is one of those books that you have to experience so the less said about it the better. College freshman Audra Madison is lucky to be alive and I mean that seriously and when she discovers that her heart donor’s older brother, Jake Cavanaugh, attends the same school, she is determined to seek him out and asks him to help her recreate a series of photos his younger sister did on her Tumblr page as a tribute to her. The set out to do these photos but in the meantime, they also spend time together in other ways (non sexual ways) and Audra begins to develop feelings for him while he remains somewhat aloof and at times even a bit mean.

Both these young adults (18 and 21) have been through more than many adults and while Audra seems a bit immature which I’m sure is due to her heart condition and her parents need to suffocate her, Jake seems much older than his years and as this story unfolds we find out why.

I enjoyed the way their friendship built and that over time they began to open up to one another about their lives. While I do felt Audra made some poor choices in judgment, I could also understand her frustration with the way Jake always seemed to change the subject or leave when things got tough. While I realize he didn’t “owe” her anything and tried to tell her he wasn’t good for her, he also didn’t seem to discourage her attentions. He was the master of mixed signals.

This was not an easy story; it deals with loss, tragedy, depression, abuse, and two young people trying to deal with it all. These characters are put through the wringer and learning to navigate through the myriad of complications and turmoil takes a toll not only on them personally but on their fragile relationship. However, through all the darkness they manage to find the light.
Was this review helpful?
I liked this story even though I did not really get the chemistry between them.
I feel that throughout the book Audra spent it looking for Jake's attention, an attention that he did not deserve at any time. I can not understand his desire to fulfill Emily's list, I thought it was a little morbid and at the beginning I justified Jake's attitude for it but then he was just an imbecile. Audra focused so much on pleasing him that in the end she forgot herself.
Although it touches very realistic topics such as suicide, family abuse, mourning, the relationship with donor families (something that personally does not seem right to me) I feel that the author did not know how to explore these issues in-depth and touch them superficially.
Despite this, enjoy reading.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Stars

"How can you sleep at night when the sound of the clock is ticking away our time?"  - Audra

Audra Madison has someone else's heart.  Her donor, Emily, had a Tumblr account documenting her "done-its"; crazy or fun things she had done.  Audra finds the account while looking for information on Emily and decides she wants to recreate Emily's pictures before doing ones of her own.  She wants Emily to live on through her.  Jake Cavanaugh, Emily's brother, took most of the pictures so Audra contacts him hoping he will help.  Jake has had a difficult time since Emily's death and is really only experiencing life from behind a camera lens.  Audra and her project make him face his life without his sister and the pain her death brought him.  

Not many books make me cry.  This book brought me to tears more than once and I almost thought about putting it down because sometimes it felt like my heart was breaking.  When we think about organ transplant, we think of the life being saved not the one that had to be lost.  There are millions of decisions being made every minute and even the smallest decision can change the lives of many, for better or worse.   As I read, I thought about all the things I've done in my life and all the things I still want to do.  And it made me think about how precious life is.  I'm going to go hug my hubby and my kids.

Review by Michelle C
Was this review helpful?
When I was given the opportunity to review this book, I was not sure what to expect.  The synopsis had me intrigued and left me wanting to know more about Audra and Jake.  The last thing I was expecting was the ugly cry I did several times while reading it.  This book seriously pulled at my heart strings.  It was such a heartbreaking and beautiful love story wrapped up in one delicious package. 

Audra is such a strong girl who has faced far more than her share of heartbreak.  When she decides to re-create the done-it list of the person who saved her life, the last thing she expected was to find love.  But that is exactly what she found in Jake.  He made her want more in her life than she could have ever expected; however, Jake isn't sure they should be together.

Jake has not had the best life, so when the ray of sunshine named Audra comes into his life, he isn't sure what to do.  He has kept himself closed off for so long that he is not sure how to open up to anyone, even if that is exactly what he wants to do.

This story is nothing like I expected and everything like I had hoped it would be.  Audra was such a wonderful character that you couldn't help but get pulled into her life.  My heart hurt for her in so many ways.  The author did a wonderful job making you invest in Audra's story and wanting to know what happens next.  If you are in the market for a good ugly cry, I highly recommend this book.  I promise you will not be disappointed.
Was this review helpful?
I was in no way prepared for this book to be so emotional. This was a pretty dark book, lots of death and horrible things happen, like, seriously. I was in shock at how emotionally devastating this book truly was. This author wrote an amazing first book.

As hard as this book was to read at some points, it really was beautiful. It was so well-written and well thought out that I can't stop thinking about it.
Was this review helpful?
The premise of this story is what really made me want to read this book. I won't lie, 8/10 times I solely want to read a book based on the cover (which might not be the best way to go about it, but when you have a tbr of 2000 books, there has to be a way to decide) but this book was one of the rare times where I was like, cover's ok but the plot sounds absolutely amazing.

This book did not disappoint at all. At times, I was kind of frustrated with Jake, but at the same time sympathetic of what he was going through. I loved Audra, she was such a well-written character, and not just a well-written but a very relatable character.

I loved the romance, but I felt like this story was more than just a romance story. It was about second chances, dealing with past trauma, and organ donation and how that affects family, especially when you're the person who has the organ (in this case, heart) of a beloved family member.

Amazing! I highly recommend this book if you are into NA or Adult romance. It's a wonderful story, and I felt at times emotional.
Was this review helpful?
DNF @ 40%.

This book was slow and boring. Everything was moving at a snails pace and it just didn't work for me.
Was this review helpful?
First of all I had to say that the cover was what make me pick this book so I went to it blind.The writing was good but the story was ok.They got too quickly together and this was my main reason to not liking it as much as I wanted!
Was this review helpful?
I really liked the premise, but for some reason I had a hard time connecting with the characters and didn't finish it.
Was this review helpful?
What a beautiful and intesnse story. It was full of love, laughs and heartbreak. This was so well written and so was the characters. I really enjoyed it a lot. From beginning to end I couldn't stop reading.i felt bad for Emily dying to young. I loved how Audra  got to know Jake Emily's brother and how they fell in love. What a beautiful story.
Was this review helpful?
So the first thing that drew me to this book was the cover, I’m not going to lie. Just look at his butt it. 😉 Then I read the synopsis and it sounded like a deeply emotional story so I knew I had to read it.

The plot of the story is great, but I’m a stickler for details, and I’m not sure that Audra would really be able to contact the donor’s family, and I also think she would be on a lot more meds with a lot more side effects and honestly…ZERO booze. However, I went with it and enjoyed how she was able to melt Jake’s cool attitude. She broke down his walls and she was just the antidote Jake needed, even though he didn’t know it yet.

Jake is just how I love my heroes. Brooding. Quietly angry. Complex. And hot, let’s not forget hot. Audra was lovely, and she had been through so much. I expected her to be a little more mature, but she seemed immature on many levels. I still liked her, as her intentions were always good.

The best friend situation and the one with Jake’s parents came out of left field, and once again I’m not sure I bought how easily each thing wrapped up. It also didn’t strike me emotionally, it was as if the heartache was scratching the surface but I couldn’t reach it. However, it did get the characters to the other side and they found their HEA. I think this is a great story for someone who doesn’t want to be using up a whole box of tissues and sobbing.

Rec it? Yes! A sweet story, not as deep and heart wrenching as I like, but I still enjoyed it. It had a lot of potential to be fleshed out, but I still closed the book feeling happy I got to know these characters, especially Jake.
Was this review helpful?
If you like New Adult and a boatload of angst and deep emotion, then this might be the book for you. The characters were typical of their age but had a ton of more mature problems they had to deal with. The writing was very well done and the romance progressed slowly and sweetly. I was glad to see this wasn't a book where they jumped into bed immediately with nothing but sex scene after sex scene. Their relationship was built on friendship and respect. That's something we don't get as often these days in romance. Nicely done Lindsey Frydman
Was this review helpful?
I don't know anything about this author, this is the first book I've read by her and I believe her first mass-published book. Not that that matters ... this chick just writes an amazing college student ... like she just went through this or is still in college or something. Totally in touch with that age group. Kind of a random comment to start off a review. That's kinda how my brain works when it's before 5am.

Anyhow ... I liked Audra. At first. I don't know what in the world happened. I was really digging Audra and Jake and then the bottom kind of fell out of that. While I found Audra and her situation intriguing, after the first half of the book was over, I just didn't feel the same connection to her that I had felt before. I ended up finding her more irritating than endearing.

There could be a strong correlation between my change in feelings towards Audra and what happened in the middle of the book because those two things seemed to happen very close to each other. I get about halfway through this book that is moving at a nice and steady pace and then it's like I hit quicksand. Everything slowed down to a snails pace and just almost hesitatingly, trudged along. That's when my attention span started to diminish. This slow down happened (what felt like) very suddenly and while I tried to push through and feel that same magic that I felt in the beginning ... it was gone.

It took me a while to like Jake. I think it would be more accurate if I said that it took me a while to like Jake AGAIN. I liked him in the beginning, he was mysterious and broody with a hint of orneriness. But like the middle of the book, it felt like Jake began to disengage from the plot. Weird assessment, right? It honestly felt like he wasn't as involved in the book as he was before. I mean, he was on the pages but towards the middle, I just didn't get those same feelings (as a reader) from him that I did at the beginning.

Unfortunately, the middle of the book seems to have been the death of this one for me. Pretty unfortunate, I liked how the beginning was going.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
Was this review helpful?
This book should have left a big impression on me, given the subject matter, but for some reason it didn't really stay with me. A few days after reading it, and I'm having trouble knowing how to review it as I just can't remember much about it. It was interesting, and the push and pull between the main characters kept me reading, but there was just a little something missing. It's a romantic story, but one that for whatever reason just didn't resonate to stay with me.
Techincally, it was very good - the writing had a lot of promise, the characters were full and realistic, the plot had enough turns to keep things interesting. All in all, I would read more from the author, in hopes that the next book might grab me harder, but this one just didn't do it for me.
Was this review helpful?
When I read the blurb I thought that this book was going to be a sweet light hearted read.  Boy did I get the wrong impression.   This book is so complex, the female lead Audra, received a heart transplant and is having trouble adjusting to her second chance at life.  Taking a journey thru her soul sister’s (heart donor) footsteps leads her to Jake.  
Jake was hot and cold.  He had trouble adjusting to life without Emily his sister.  And to have Audra show up in his life made it more of a storm that he had to tame.  He was mysterious, and I found his layers intriguing.  
This book was out of my comfort zone.  There was grief, angst, honesty, and at times the pain of the characters were too realistic.   I thought that it left me hanging and I could have used a little more closure for the characters.  The Heartbeat Hypothesis is well written and the characters are developed nicely.
Was this review helpful?
I did not end up reviewing this title. I appreciate the opportunity to read this title.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Stars!

In a genre filled with so much of the same, The Heartbeat Hypothesis comes along and gives you something different, something refreshing and something that will stick with you long after you’re done.

Audra received Jake’s sister’s heart in a heart transplant and she desperately wants to honor Jake’s sister, Emily, in some way.  I mean, really, how sweet is that?  It’s definitely sweet and highly emotional.  I loved the honest responses from Jake and the timid yet determined way that Audra had about her.  She spent so much of her life sick and now has this new lease on life, but she has walked herself into an emotional minefield with Jake.  She is a constant reminder of his sister and Audra knows that Jake is hiding something.  This whole book was amazing.  I was two chapters in and just knew I was going to need to find a box of tissues.  I was so right.  I cried at the sad parts and I cried harder at the HEA.  Oh that HEA was so beautiful.  

If you are looking for something a bit different from the typical romances out there, then you are going to want to read this book.  Heck, even if you don’t want something different, you want to read this.  This talented author has written something truly magical!
Was this review helpful?
So, Lindsey warned me about this book. She told me it was going to make me cry. But I, in my stupid arrogance, didn't listen. Oh, no, I scoffed, crying is for mere mortals. I don't cry at books! Boy, do I feel silly. Two weeks later, there I was, clutching the book and sobbing like someone just told Trump is going to be named Supreme Continual Ruler of the United States. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And dammit, I hate things that make me cry. But I adored this book. The writing is beautiful, and Audra's impossible not to root for. After all, she had a heart transplant. She didn't expect to live long enough to get to college. But now she's healthy and alive... and she's got a crush on the brother of the girl who died to make it possible. OUCH.

Jake is utterly swoon-worthy. He's hot, he's a photographer who plays piano, and he's really conflicted about falling for the girl who is carrying around his sister's heart. It's so easy to root for both of them, yet so easy to see why starting a relationship could feel weird and awkward. Especially at 18 and 20.

The entire book is a delight. The romance unfolds in a realistic manner, the pacing is spot-on, and the ending is absolutely perfect. 5 Stars. Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
This was a really great read especially for a debut novel!This book had me hooked from the blurb and I really wanted to know what was going to happen.

Audra was born with a heart defect, but due to a heart transplant she has another chance and now can do whatever she wishes.But she feels guilty about the fact that it came at the cost of another girl's life- Emily Cavanaugh.So after seeing her done-it list on the internet, Audra reaches out to Emily's brother- Jake and asks him to come along with her an photograph as she tries to recreate Emily's list and live in her shoes for a while.

As they spend more time together, Audra tries her best to get close to Jake.But there are a lot of things he's been hiding.

I'd thought initially that it was just a simple story about loss,moving on and a romance in the midst.But it was so much more complicated than that!There was so much push and pull between Audra and Jake.
The girl's had a crush on him since the beginning of the book itself and it was cute.Her character matched that of a college teenager.She was intelligent but confused and immature at times.A little hasty in her decisions and expectations perhaps.
Jake was very closed off and kept running hot and cold.Getting something out of him felt like pulling teeth.His behavior kept confusing poor Audra.But he had his reasons for his actions and trust me, they're pretty sad.By the end my heart was aching for both of them and I was praying for a HEA.
They've been through a lot and they deserved it.

This is one of those books that makes you think about life too and makes you feel happy for your blessings!I think Lindsey Freyman is one author to watch out for in the future!
Was this review helpful?