Title: Between Heartbeats
Author: Donelle Knudsen
Can life change between heartbeats? Diana awakens on her seventeenth birthday in a joyful mood. But at breakfast she is told, during a heated argument with her mother, that the man she has loved as her father is not her father at all. Diana decides to unravel the mystery of her childhood and the reason for their secrets, and travels across the country to visit her step-father. And so, Diana begins a journey where she discovers shocking truths hidden just beneath the surface. To further complicate her summer, she meets Kevin Wright, a college junior. When Kevin vanishes without a trace, Diana learns family is more than shared DNA and discovers who will help her when it appears all hope is gone. In Donelle Knudsen’s Young Adult novel, Between Heartbeats, a young woman’s quest to find her roots enables her to discover love and the power of forgiveness.
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This book was a great read. It is fast paced and intriguing. It starts on Diana’s 17th birthday. She learns from her mother that her father isn’t her biological father. Her mother is upset because she is going to visit him for a month during summer break. While visiting her father she meets Kevin and they begin to get to know each other and then start to date. This book is about Diana’s mother Roberta and how Diana begins to think maybe she was kidnapped as a baby and that her mother isn’t her mother. Also Kevin goes missing and Diana gets her father, a lawyer, to help in the search to find him. This book moves very fast but I didn’t feel like I missed anything. I can’t imagine what is would feel like to learn that you were kidnapped as a baby and the person you have thought is your mother your whole life is in fact your kidnapper. Kevin and Diana’s relationship is great to read about. He is super romantic and does all sorts of nice things for her without needing a reason. They have a long distance relationship but that doesn’t seem to matter for them. They talk and text all the time. Diana is going through so much most of the book with Kevin missing and trying to get answers from her mother. Diana’s mother Roberta doesn’t seem to be all there. Everything has to be about her even when it has very little to do with her. She is only worried about how things will affect her. Even when a friend allows her to move in when she loses her house she is mad because she can’t smoke in the house, watch tv whenever she wants, etc. It’s almost like she thinks her friend should change just to suit her. When she appears to be close to getting in trouble she does childish things to make her the victim and the center of attention. The only thing that kinda bugged me was the ending, I felt like I didn’t really get closure with what happened to Kevin. They had a lead but then it was left unfinished. All the characters in this book are great. The story pulled me and I couldn’t put the book down. This is the first book I have read by Donelle but I look forward to reading more books by her in the future.
Donelle Knudsen was born in Portland, Oregon, the beautiful City of Roses, but has lived in Eastern Washington since 1988. She also writes short stories, poetry, and memoir, and owes her love of books and the craft of writing to her late father, who was never too busy to read to her or to make visits to the “big” library every Saturday. She then earned a B.S. in Arts & Letters from Portland State University and is a four-time finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s literary contest in the memoir category. Her first book, “Through the Tunnel of Love, A Mother’s and Daughter’s Journey with Anorexia” was published in 2011.