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My Beating Teenage Heart

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,029 ratings  ·  140 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, 228 pages
Published August 10th 2017 by Create Space (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,029 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with a beating heart.
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
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5-stars

I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book and how to sort my feelings through to find the things I liked and the things I didn't. I think that I ultimately found a neutral rating that conveyed my feelings of the book: it wasn't extraordinary but it also wasn't horrible.

Let me start off by saying that this book was depressing in the highest form. There was literally nothing happy about this book. It was also very serious and it had a lot more in it than I thought it would.
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
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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 h
Feb 19, 2011 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.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a really well written book, but some parts were really inappropriate. It was interesting to see both sides of the story and their grief. It showed the some of the different battles we face in life. Really interesting but mature.
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12-and-13
My Beating Teenage Heart tells small-time stories in a big, unique way.

Told through the perspectives of a possibly-dead almost 16 year old slowly regaining her memory and the teenaged boy her spirit seems to have become attached too, My Beating Teenage Heart tackles love, death, grief, and what it means to lose someone.

The stories of grief are familiar enough to break your heart, but the unique narrative structure makes it unlike anything you've ever read before. This book is SAD. Very sad. If
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
Feb 10, 2012 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
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,
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Penny Linsenmayer
Oct 23, 2012 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
Apr 11, 2014 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
Aug 02, 2011 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
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
Feb 06, 2012 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,
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
Oct 05, 2011 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
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
Really good. The last chapter was incredibly beautiful.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 120 pages.

I'm not quite sure how to explain why I dislike this book, except to say that it doesn't speak to me on any level. Breckon is a very flat character, without much real personality. This is probably because, throughout the sections of the novel I've read so far, he literally does nothing except angst. It's hard to get a sense of him when there's so little variety to his thoughts and actions. And I know that he's just lost someone, so yeah, he's gonna be sad a lot, but the way Mart
Kathy Coleman
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Rating: <3 <3 <3 <3

*This book was provided by the lovely people at Random House, through their Bookurious site's Blog It Forward program.

It's interesting having someone send a book to you, rather then simply picking one up from the bookstore yourself. It can be a very uplifting, or at times very awkward, experience. I had heard of My Beating Teenage Heart before I received it as part of Blog It Forward, it was even on my list. But truthfully, all by itself it's not likely the type of b
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am what people mean when they say 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust' and 'I'm so very sorry for your loss,' and I can't for one second, stop longing for my body, my life, Mom, Dad, Celeste, Garrett, my grandparents, the taste of orange ice cream on the tip of my tongue and every single person I have ever loved."

Woah. I guess you could say this book was incredibly sad. I mean it deals with some heavy shit. Death, loss, grief, and self harm to start...BUT for me it was a discovery. A story of hope
Nila Horner McGinnis
This book helped me get out of the mini reading slump I'm in. Engaging, interesting, filled with a little mystery, and characters that you really come to love- this book is a very interesting look at grief and how we can move on when we feel so stuck in what happened in the past. ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very emotional read! For a YA novel, the book goes into some pretty heavy subjects like sexual assault, alcohol/drug abuse and death/grief. The writing is very well done and the story is captivating—finished the book in two days.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title might suggest a soppy teen romance but no, the main character may be dead, doesn't seem to be able to move on, and is left watching a stranger in pain. ...more
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog, own, review-copy
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin is everything that I love about reading Contemporary novels, even though technically, it isn't really Contemporary...

The book starts with a nameless, unknown narrator falling through the stars and landing just above a boy, who breathes grief. We know nothing about the narrator, but can't fault them, because our narrator knows nothing about who they are either. The past is revealed

Originally reviewed here.

Why I Read It: I received an unsolicited finished copy of this from Random House Canada.

I had next to no idea what this book was actually about before I started reading it. I figured it had *something* to do with ghosts because I did know it was about a girl who died, but other than that, I knew zilch. Well, I have to say that this book defied many of my expectations.

Okay, so, we have Ashlyn who slowly figures out that she's dead and that actually has no memory of when
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