My Beating Teenage Heart
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My Beating Teenage Heart

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  768 ratings  ·  124 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...more
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...more
Christina M
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 b...more
Ashlyn doesn't know who she is or what has happened to her. All she knows is that she's suddenly conscious, and she's observing a boy - a stranger to her - who can't see or hear her. Unable to leave his side, with no body and seemingly no actual existence, she spends her days and nights watching Breckon, who is grieving the death of his little sister. Ashlyn is tethered to Breckon; where he goes, she goes, and she has no idea why.

Breckon has no idea he's being watched. He's going through the mot...more
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....more

“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...more
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,...more
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,...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Penny Linsenmayer
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
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...more
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
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...more
Jun 17, 2014 Teenage rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
What was so refreshing about this story was that it was not only unabashedly Canadian, it was also extraordinarily REAL compared to most young adult literature I've read in the past. The excruciating detail of Breckon's depression and the way he deals with the death of his sister is so incredibly heart breaking to read. I was touched and blown away by the hurt and anger you could actually feel when reading his words.
Another refreshing detail of the book was his relationship with his girlfriend...more

4.5 stars

It's with these kind of stories why I fell in love with Young Adult books even more so in YA realistic fiction. The messages they try to give out is incredible; prepubescent and barely adolescent characters be the bearer of unfathomable potent emotions and imposing wisdom that could put your grave trouble to shame.

My Beating Teenage Heart is anything but fun, happy, or romantic. While this book is about two teens that fell in the dark times of their lives, they were never that involved...more
Initially, I wasn't very impressed with My Beating Teenage Heart. I didn't really care for the story or like the characters. What kept me reading was the emotion the author so successfully conveyed. I had tears in my eyes while reading.

The story is about death and grief. Breckon lost his sister and is struggling. Ashlyn is in this weird in between state where she's watching Breckon and trying to learn more about who she is. Both characters go through a lot, but Breckon's story had me far more up...more
Sarah (The Book Life)
Full review can also be found at http://sarahliveslovesreads.blogspot....

I didn't know what to expect going into this book. The premise had me so intrigued and I couldn't wait to pick it up. We start out with Ashlyn as she first comes upon Breckon and starts observing his life. In the beginning Ashlyn thinks she is having a dream and doesn't realize the things she is witnessing are really happening to Breckon and his family. In fact Ashlyn doesn't really remember anything about who she is or wha...more
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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...more
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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?” 11 likes
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