Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin

Ashlyn Baptiste is falling. One moment she was nothing—no memories, no self—and then suddenly, she's plummeting through a sea of stars. Is she in a coma? She doesn't remember dying, and she has no memories of the life she left behind. All she knows is that she's trapped in a consciousness without a body and she's spending every moment watching a stranger.

Breckon Cody's on the edge. He's being ripped apart by grief so intense it literally hurts to breathe. On the surface, Breckon is trying to hold it together for his family and his girlfriend, but underneath he's barely hanging on.

Even though she didn't know him in life, Ashlyn sees Breckon's pain, and she's determined to find a way help him. As her own distressing memories emerge from the darkness, she struggles to communicate with the boy who can't see her, but whose life is suddenly intertwined with hers. In alternating voices of the main characters, My Beating Teenage Heart paints a devastatingly vivid picture of both the heartbreak and the promise of teenage life—a life Ashlyn would do anything to recover and Breckon seems desperate to destroy—and will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, John Green, and David Levithan. (from GoodReads)

I think that C.K. Kelly Martin is an underrated author. Her books are really good, but I never hear many bloggers gushing over her. I also love that the books take place in Canada (it's something different). My Beating Teenage Heart was engaging, emotional, and ultimately hopeful.

My Beating Teenage Heart was incredibly sad - Breckon's younger sister has just died and he's trying to deal with the grief. And since it was a totally unexpected accident, it was that much harder. I can't imagine going through what Breckon's family is suffering, but I think that Martin portrayed it very well. Everybody would react differently, and while I hope I'm not as broken as Breckon was, I understood his feelings and actions.

In comes Ashlyn, who is like a spirit, but she's tethered to Breckon and is forced to watch him. At first she can't remember who she is, but then suddenly the memories start coming back. I liked learning more and more about Ashlyn, and finally seeing what happened to get her to this state.

The book is narrated by both characters, so you get to see into each other's heads. This is a book where you definitely need both perspectives.

Overall, I thought My Beating Teenage Heart was very well-written and definitely emotional. Like I said earlier, it's not totally depressing, as the ending is very hopeful. I would recommend this to fans of dramatic and heavier fiction.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: received from publisher.

2011/Random House/288 pages.

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