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 is the story of a sixteen year old girl who goes on a journey not only to discover the truth behind her past, but also to discover herself. And, of course, this involves a whole lot of drama. The story starts off normal enough, Donelle is sixteen and lives with her Mom, and like many girls her age, has a pretty hot/cold relationship. . .more rocky than anything else than. The bomb message that her father isn't her real father comes like a tidal wave, especially when Donelle's mother isn't willing to give out any information about the guy. Needless to say, this sets off Donelle's journey to find the truth.
This was an intriguing story with quite a bit of depth and message. Donelle runs up against wall after wall, and is thrown into more and more troubles as she finds her real father and her boyfriend disappears. She deals with it well - all things considered - and one feels for her as she struggles to not go under. Donelle is obviously a strong character, and teenage girls will love all of the drama surrounding with her and how she fights to survive it all.
The plot is well paced and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. There were moments, which I really wondered how Donelle was going to work her way through and found myself engaged in several of her problems. However, there are several things which are never quite worked out and a few questions are left open (perhaps to be settled in a book 2?) If anything, I found there was a little too much going on in this story and felt as if the plot sometimes lost its main string. Still, anyone who loves to watch a character battle her way to find love, stability and some sort of normality in life will enjoy this. Emotion, friendship, betrayal and hope fill the pages, making it an emotional read, one that especially teenage girls will be able to relate to.
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.