My Beating Teenage Heart

 
4.7
 
3.3 (1)
1352 1
My Beating Teenage Heart
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
September 27, 2011
ISBN
0375868550
Buy This Book
      

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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

From Missy's Reads & Reviews
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
My Beating Teenage Heart is one of those books that keeps you guessing through a good portion of the story. You get a good feel of the characters and the plot is pretty easy to follow, but there’s still just some loose ends in the story that makes you wonder about what is really going on - or who a character really is. For me, I think that was the biggest hook of this novel.

Ashlyn and Breckon are both great characters, both dealing with their own issues that immediately sucks you in. Ashlyn is obviously stuck in this in-between place, where she’s tied to Breckon yet doesn’t understand why. Breckon is dealing with the grief and guilt that comes along with losing his sister. It’s not hard to understand exactly where his emotions come from, even if it’s a little difficult to empathize with the way that he actually deals with those emotions.

Patience is the key with this book. At first glance this story may seem like something that’s been done a few times before, but as you continue reading it most definitely becomes a whole lot more than what you may have expected. Clues to questions you may have while reading are slowly revealed and somehow wrap up cleanly at the end with no questions unanswered - and even a few tears when everything is completely revealed.

The writing is mesmerizing, as are the characters that will quickly win you over. This story isn’t exactly the happiest through and through, but ends on its own note of happily ever after with a message of hope and, more importantly, forgiveness. This book comes with the highest of recommendations from me.
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
3.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
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Fascinating
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
One of my favorite bloggers, even though she doesn't blog much anymore, is Presenting Lenore. She's helping to host a twitter book club, the aim of which is to read books that are amazing but do not have nearly enough buzz. This is the first selection. Well, it definitely isn't well known enough, since I totally thought Yesterday was going to be Martin's debut. Apparently, she's written four books before that one.

The opening of My Beating Teenage Heart is quit alarming. You're thrown into some weird dream-state type thing with the heroine whose name you don't yet know. It's odd and mystical and it's hard to tell whether anything is real or a dream or what. Actually, the book continues to be this way. Ashlyn learns a bit about herself, but what she figures out results in more questions than answers. Breckon (we also get some chapters from his perspective) is mired in depression.

For me, this is one of those books where how much I likes it depended entirely on the explanation of what's going on. The writing is decent, but didn't especially resonate with me. The characters are both so whacked out on grief or confusion that I had trouble connecting to them. The plot is so strange, requiring some serious suspension of disbelief, but, if she pulled it off with the ending, it could definitely make the book epic.

Without a doubt, I can honestly say that My Beating Teenage Heart is unlike any YA book I've read before. It picks up steam very slowly, but, by the end, I was definitely engaged. For the first hundred or so pages, the melodrama of the narration irritated me, especially given the fogginess of Ashlyn's memory. Plus, she made so many assumptions that seemed strange to me.

Anyway, having now finished the book, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. On some levels, it was definitely really cool and thought provoking, and I'm certainly glad to have read it, but there were also aspects with which I did not reconcile. My main issue with the book I can't express to clearly without risking spoilers, but, basically, I do not get why Ashlyn's memory would ever work that way. However, on the plus side again, Martin can write the heck out of a steamy scene.

Looking at those labels at the bottom of the post, you might notice that they're not super happy times themes. Nor is the book at all light and fluffy. At all. Recommended to fans of Ilsa J. Bick and Laurie Halse Anderson. Although I didn't love this, I am now definitely looking forward to reading Yesterday more than I was before.
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