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Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin

Publication Date: 9/27/2011
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Challenge: N/A

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Ashlyn Baptiste has consciousness, but doesn’t have a body.  She can’t be seen by anyone around, and is stuck following Breckon Cody around.  A boy she doesn’t ever remember knowing in life, not that she remembers much of her life anyway.
Breckon Cody has had a rough year. He lost his young sister in an unfortunate accident that he seems positive to consider his own fault.  He is struggling to hold on to life and live normally.  Breckon has reduced himself to taking pills and using alcohol to suppress his emotions. His girlfriend is trying to help him, but Breckon has been segregating himself from those around him.  Instead, he sits in his own sorrow and debates how important life really is. 

Ashlyn is an interesting character because she’s trying to figure out why she must follow Breckon around.  As she learns more about him, she realizes that she needs to help him in some way, but doesn’t know how.  Throughout this time, she is learning more about what her life was about, who her family was, and how it was all lost to her.  After learning more about herself she is determined to help Breckon realize how important life is and how fast it can be taken away. 

This book was so captivating.  Martin hits on all important issues and gives us an honest look into bullying, losing a loved one, and struggling to hang on through it all. The lives of Ashlyn and Breckon needed to be told.  Ashlyn’s difficulty in helping Breckon is heart-breaking at times.  She so badly wants to be heard and needs to tell those around him what Breckon is doing, but can’t.   She can’t spread herself to others and help them realize that Breckon isn’t okay. 

Martin did a great job telling the story of two teenagers who are broken in different ways, but have a small connection.  She shows us through their story how the most meaningless way we meet someone or affect their lives can be the most important in the end.  We can change the ending.  Martin helps us realize that grief and tragedy can cause some emotional hurtles that we have to face headfirst and learn to work through.  Grief can cause so many emotions and affect each person differently, but ultimately we all know what losing someone feels like and can assist each other in working through the pain and tragedy of losing someone close to us.

1 comment:

zapkode.marie said...

{new follower here}

This kinda has the feel of remember me by christopher pike the out of body paranormal type stuff. I might need to track this down so I can read it. Thank you for sharing.