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My Beating Teenage Heart

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  948 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
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
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Ember (first published January 1st 2011)
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I’ve become picky with my contemporaries, in those I choose to read and in how I rate them. Contemporary fiction is my favourite of the wide variety of genres I read, and so you can imagine how dearly I hold the best of stories and how passionate I am about what goes on in these underrated books. Where I’m a tough sell for books in most genres, selling a book to me – both literately and figuratively – is even more daunting a task; “issue books” and “fluff” alike are two types of stories that nee ...more
The reason C.K. Kelly Martin is one of my most favourite authors of all time is simple:

Her books.


Also each one makes me think, "What's she going to do next?! How will she top this?!"

This might be the best one yet.
(Not that she makes it easy to choose.)

My Beating Teenage Heart is a powerhouse of a novel, for reals. As of my writing this, it comes out tomorrow and I think you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice if you didn't pick it up. I got to read an ARC earlier this year
Jun 18, 2012 Noelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: ugly-cried
Christina M
Apr 20, 2013 Christina M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2013
I wanted to start off my review with '' READ IT '' but I don't want to look desperate and I gotta give myself a chance since I barely finished the book five minutes ago.

My Beating Teenage Heart is the first book to get me to tears. Most importantly it contained elements I always wanted a book to have which sort of freaked me out in a good way. Stars for example. One of the protagonists lives among them and I always wanted to read something like that. C.K Kelly Martin's handwriting was so
Aug 31, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book you just have to believe in. Martin asks you to trust, and you have to, even though you think it feels like other things you've read. You think you know where it's going, but you don't. It's packed emotionally, and both Breckon and Ashlyn both have incredible voices.

NOT a contemporary novel by definition, but it will appeal to contemporary fans since it's close enough.

And that last chapter? It's a total tear fest.

One you need to put down and just breathe through. Wow.
May 09, 2014 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“The first moment is utter darkness.” My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin is about a teenage boy who lives through a tough life. Breckon’s sister passed away when she was only seven. Ever since his loss his old friend Ashlyn is looking down at him. She doesn't remember dying, and she has no memories of the life she left behind, but she knows Breckon and watches his every move from heaven. Breckon doesn’t remember who Ashlyn is and can’t hear a word she says, but he can sometimes hears
A Canadian Girl
I’ve read a few novels dealing with the themes of grief and loss, but C.K. Kelly Martin’s My Beating Teenage Heart stands out for its lovely prose and way of getting the reader engaged into the story.

The book opens with a nameless being who simply exists among the stars before she's sucked back to the world of the living. Who is she? What has happened to her? Those answers will be revealed in time since Ashlyn is just as lost in the dark as the reader. Not a ghost but more like a consciousness,
Apr 22, 2012 Librarysteph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was awesome but marketed all wrong. The cover and title give the impression of a love story, or maybe sappy vampire fiction. NOT what this novel is about. Even the quotes on the back are all about Ashlyn, whereas the greater part of the book is about Breckon. I think that guys could enjoy this novel but like so many YA books it’s packaged in a way that only appeals to girls.

This book is not for tweens, or the squeamish. It involves the death of a child, grief, self-mutilation,
Bailey (IB Book Blogging)
MY BEATING TEENAGE HEART is a lyrical and highly emotional novel that I want to recommend to everyone! Seriously, the writing is absolutely gorgeous and characters each have their own heart-breaking stories that will bring tears to your eyes. The best part about the book is that you never know what to expect, what secrets will be revealed.

Ashlyn is one of the most complex characters that I have ever read about. She is an absolute mystery from the beginning, and it takes awhile to grasp what she
Dec 10, 2012 Eden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I were to describe the atmosphere, tone and mood of this book in one colour, it would be gray. With plenty of time spent in introspection, flashbacks and ponderings in general, this books is nowhere near suffused with colour. That doesn’t make it bad; in fact, one could say the navel-gazing is necessary, as it provides the only counterbalance against the waves of negativity Breckon seems to produce automatically with his actions.

Ah, Breckon. It’s not hard to see where he’s coming from, as gui
Jaime Arkin
I had tears at the end of this book... they were a mix of tears of happiness and tears of sadness for sure.

This story is told from two different perspectives alternating about every other chapter. We're immediately introduced to Ashlyn. Though, she doesn't really know who she is at the moment, we do know that she is some sort of spirit form.

"The first moment is utter darkness. The absence of thought, the absence of everything. An absence that stretches infinitely backwards and threatens to smo
This was a super tough read. Super. Tough. Yet, it was also incredibly good--particularly the last 20%. I think I'm having a hard time forming my thoughts around this one because it's not really what I expected from CK Kelly Martin. Hmmmmmm...

C.K. Kelly Martin is one of my favorite "sleeper" young adult authors. It boggles my mind that her work is not more widely known. The Lighter Side of Life and Death is an outstanding example of authentic, engaging teen male point of view, while One Lonely D
I loved this book from start to finish, and really wasn't ready to let it go. The plot is simple enough that without great writing and characterization, it wouldn't have been the story it is. Yet C. K. Kelly Martin did a wonderful job creating Breckon's world and showcasing it through his and Ashlyn's alternating viewpoints.

The story starts off with Ashlyn not knowing anything of her past, so we learn about her as she begins to recover her memories. As she isn't entirely certain about where she
Penny Linsenmayer
Oct 23, 2012 Penny Linsenmayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As other reviewers have noted, this is a sad book on many levels. The unremitting grief and guilt experienced by Breckon permeates every page. As the story of what happened to his sister Skylar (and Breckon's role in her death) unfolds, Breckon's emotional state becomes more and more precarious. As a mother, I was horrified by the tragedy that has befallen this family; this was truly a preventable accidental death that is doubly horrifying when the reader realizes how easily it could (and probab ...more
Aug 28, 2011 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The plot of My Beating Teenage Heart is hard to describe without giving too much away. It is told in first person through the eyes of two different characters. In the beginning, they are both unnamed, so I am going to leave them this way...

I loved this book. LOVED it...The characters sucked me in and I needed to see them through to the end. One of my favorite things about the book was the healthy relationship the male character has with both his girlfriend and his best friend. He forgets their l
Mar 18, 2012 Milly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I always get sucked into these types of books when I really should be avoiding them. My fault for not reading the book jacket thoroughly. BUT, if you are someone who's presently grieving for a loved one who recently passed on, this is not the book for you. I found myself getting depressed reading about the male protagonist of this book who finds himself broken and not wanting to live on as he blames himself for the death of his little sister. Like I said, you don't find some lig ...more
Stacie ~ ninja or spy
I don't really read books like this but the summary caught my attention. It was a good book. The descriptions of loss and suffering were well written and made me feel sympathy for the characters, Breckon and Ashlyn. I did love the dual point of perspectives through out the book. It was very interesting to see how an unbiased on looker would have seen the situation. For me it did slow down a little in the early middle with a bit of redundancy on how much Breckon was suffering. How Ashlyn's charac ...more
Brooke Cheyenne
May 07, 2015 Brooke Cheyenne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I write this review seconds after finishing this book and I'm a complete wreck. The book overall is something slight of depressing but the final few chapters - where everything seems to fall into place - are purely heart wrenching.

This book is amazing, but slow. It spends a lot of time on events of the past and I didn't find all of them to be too useful to the plot. I had to skim a few pages only once or twice only because I'd really gotten bored. However the writing style of Kelly Martin is re
Andrea Eliza
I liked this book. I didn't love it, but I liked it. I found it enjoyable and had no problem reading through it.

This story is about two people: a boy named Breckon and a girl named Ashlyn. Breckon is living and Ashlyn... well, she's not. She's dead.

The book starts off with Ashlyn floating around in the the stars. She is simply the essence of what she once was. In fact, she can't even remember who she was and what happened. In the beginning she doesn;t even realize she's dead.She finds herself st
Gin Yee
Sep 23, 2014 Gin Yee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read 'I Know It's Over' by the same author and it was something I could really relate to, having gone through an awful breakup recently. But the language in the book was beautiful and everything was so realistic and vivid, it was what tempted me to pick this one up.
And let's just say I don't regret it.

The use of two alternating point of views make it all the more poignant. You see what the world sees, but the pain in that one person that no one gets to see is expressed so vividly in Brecko
Really good. The last chapter was incredibly beautiful.
Teenage Reads
Mar 07, 2016 Teenage Reads rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers and Adults
Shelves: 2014
Death, loss. Grieving. The sad parts of life everyone must go through. Weather it is a parent, sibling or a not close relative, it is still a loss in your life. “Everyone grieves in their own way” a famous quote now known by all, yet some take it harder than others. Yet death is not just a once sided deal, but two. You have the person who died and who they left behind, but then you have the person who was the one that died. What happens to them? Some say you get born into another life, others s ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Ashlyn Baptiste is floating, observing a teenage boy in crisis. She’s apparently dead, but doesn’t know how or why she’s here, barely remembering anything about her past. Breckon Cody is the teenage boy. He’s grieving the death of his 6 year old sister, blaming himself for her death. He is floundering and yet cannot bring himself to ask for help. Their stories are told in alternating voices, Ashlyn slowly recovers her memory bit by bit while she watches Breckon descend into a depression that’s ...more
Jan 12, 2012 Siobhan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Last week I started reading My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin. The concept for this book intrigued me right from the beginning. it is a story about a young girl who is dead, and she is trapped in the world of a living boy named Breckon. She has no idea who she is or how she died, her past is elusive. Through Breckon, and watching him go through his own grief, she discovers her past.

I really wanted to like this book, I loved I Know Its Over, which I read a couple of years ago, but thi
Fair warning: If you decide to pick up C.K. Kelly Martin's My Beating Teenage Heart (which you totally should if you happen to be into thoughtful, emotional reads) you may be confused at the beginning. That's okay -- just stick with it and all will be revealed.

Perhaps you'll be more like me, though. I was way too preoccupied with this book's gorgeous, gorgeous prose to be curious about what the heck was going on. It is lyrical and sometimes brutal in the way that it treats sensitive issues, but
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
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 w
Dec 27, 2011 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took me longer then usual to read because of the holidays...

What a sad, sad story. Seriously...the whole thing was so sad to me. I didn't see anything uplifting through the whole thing. So be prepared. If you like contemporary, if you like sad things...and if you don't...just be prepared to cry and to be sad.

The story is from two characters view points; Ashlyn and Breckon. Ashlyn is dead and is looking over Breckon, who is going through a horrible time. You don't know why Ashlyn was put
Dec 29, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, it took me much longer than it should have to finish this book, but I have finally just finished it and I have slightly split feelings.

Basically this book is about Breckon, a teenage boy who has just suffered the loss of a sibling, and Ashlyn who is finds herself stuck to him in a spirit form. The whole story is about how Breckon deals with his loss, and how Ashlyn is trying to help him while simultaneously trying to remember who she is and what happened to her.
The point of view
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Most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major, not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. in Film Studies but a fine way to get a general arts education. After graduation I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz.

I always thoughts I'd get around to writing in ea
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“I'm talking to myself in two different personas now. I'm reaching for a full-throttle meltdown and why not? Why stop halfway? Why not just go for it, jump on and ride the wave?” 12 likes
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