Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Book Review: My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K Kelly Martin
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: From online book club
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.
What an interesting book! At first I was pretty confused to tell you the truth. My Beating Teenage Heart is about this boy, Breckon who has lost his sister and his journey through dealing with that, and Ashlyn, a girl who is watching over Breckon for reasons unknown to her.
Right away I feel bad for Breckon. The loss of his younger sister takes quite the toll on him and he's unsure how to act and get through this. Unfortunately, his family doesn't seem to be overly helpful at times because they are still coming to terms with things as well. For me, I really feel for characters who have to deal with situations like the death of a family member. Thankfully, I have never had to deal with anything like that and since I have a very tight knit family, I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened.
Along with Breckon's narration of My Beating Teenage Heart, we are reading through Ashlyn's point of view. She understands that she is either dead or in a coma, realizing something is wrong with her situation she tries her hardest to remember her life and memories. All while doing that, she is looking over Breckon, who is spiralling downward in his own attempt to deal, and trying to make him understand and realize that she is there for him. (Though she does not know why she's been sent to Breckon and not her own family).
I really did enjoy this book. The change of POV's between the two main characters was enjoyable. The story was original and C.K. Kelly Martin is a good writer. She can get the reader interested in her book and pull the reader in for more. For example, we know right away that Breckon's sister died, nothing is explained up front we just get little more information here and there and it isn't until the end that we really read what happened. Also, we wonder how Breckon and Ashlyn are connected, and it isn't until the end that we find out. But it's done in a way that the story is spread out, and we don't just get hit with a whack of explaination at the end, it's written so well that that doesn't happen.
Overall, My Beating Teenage Heart was a heartfelt read that I enjoyed. The story, the writing and the characters are all worth it, and made for an "unputdownble" book!