My Beating Teenage Heart

>> Monday, June 3, 2013

Author: C.K. Kelly Martin
Recommended Age:  Young Adult
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN:  978-0-385-67042-5
Year Published:  2011
No. Pages:  272
Genre:  Fantasy/ Realistic Fiction
Main Character Gender: Mixed
Read & Reviewed by: Zabrina

 "The first moment is utter darkness. The absence of thought, the absence of everything. An absence that stretches infinitely backwards and threatens to smother your sanity-if there was a you, that is. But there's not. I am nothing and no one. I never was. I must not have been because otherwise, wouldn't I remember?"

Fifteen-year-old Ashlyn Baptiste doesn't know where she is or what's happened to her. She doesn't seem to have a body but she has thoughts and feelings. She watches over seventeen-year-old Breckon's life without him knowing. She knows Breckon more than she knows herself. Every little thing he does brings back little details of Ashlyn's childhood. As Breckon’s life is falling apart piece by piece. He grieves his little sister. This novel is the story of two unexpected deaths and how they become intertwined.

My Beating Teenage Heart is a novel about letting go of the past and forgiving what has happened. Breckon thought he understood that everything happens for a reason but soon, he discovers that not all reasons are fair. After losing his sister, he self-destructs. He drinks, cuts himself to lose the pain and memories. He tries to hold himself together for the sake of his family and girlfriend. I found griefs pain to be portrayed with honesty.

Ashlyn remembered when she was eight-years-old a strange teenage boy cornered her, kissed her and felt her up. Her family was very supportive and sent her to a therapist. When she was older, the secret is spread throughout the school. She is terrorized by nasty texts from her peers. Ashlyn's reputation is ruined by this. Ashlyn is a very strong female character, who has lots of guts.  Throughout the novel you watch Ashlyns past become more clear as she finds herself in the future. Ashlyns story is an idea of what happen to us when we die, and if we would still know ourselves or have some recollection of our past.

C.K. Kelly assumed the reader was intelligent, she slowly revealed little snapshots about Breckon and Ashlyns stories and eventually showing why their stories crossed. As a reader, I had to piece the puzzle together. This made the book a page-turner for me and always had me thinking. The narration of the novel was flipped between Breckon and Ashlyns point of views. Kelly did a great job capturing the emotions of this novel.

This book was a quick and enjoyable read, I couldnt stop reading it. I rated it a ten out of ten and recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, intelligent read that is a message of love, forgiveness and hope.

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