Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin

In this young adult novel, My Beating Teenage Heart, we meet two characters: Ashlyn and Breckon. The beginning of the story starts off with a character falling from the sky. This person has no idea what has happened, where they are going, or why they are falling - just that they don't want to crash into the ground the closer they get to Earth.

We then find out that it was Ashlyn, a 15 year old girl, who was falling - and that her destination was to oversee Breckon, a 16 year old boy.

As the reader gets farther and farther into the story, we find out that Ashlyn's memory of who she is comes to her slowly, while she is forced to be with Breckon 24/7. She's never tired and she can't go wherever she wants to (like her own house with her own family).

The more Ashlyn watches Breckon, the more she learns about him and the troubles he's been having lately. The main problem, though, is that his 7 year old sister, Skylar, died. Breckon is having a hard time finding a reason to go back to his normal schedule after this tragedy and Ashlyn, while watching Breckon, tries to find a way to communicate to him what he should and shouldn't do.

As the story gets further and further by, we gain more pieces of Ashlyn's past. Or, rather, Ashlyn figures out who she is. What she likes to eat, her favorite tv shows, her friends, and, eventually, how she came to be attached to Breckon and what the purpose is for her surveillance on him.

Breckon, throughout the novel, goes through the hardship of losing someone that he loves dearly and comes to realize that he can lean on others and doesn't always have to be strong all of the time.

This novel was told through alternative viewpoints: Breckon's and Ashlyn's. In each of their narration, the reader becomes aware of both character's thoughts and realizations, learning just as they are what has happened to both of them. Being able to understand Ashlyn's frustrations by not being able to communicate with Breckon and also not understanding her own history and how she got there makes the reader understand what she is going through.

The same occurs when Breckon tells his story about what he is feeling after losing his little sister and if fighting everyday is really worth it.

There is some content in here that touches some tough subjects, but in a way that young readers would be able to understand even if they have not lost someone they were close to. C.K. Kelly Martin really was able to show the emotions with this subject without making it too psychiatric, and easy to understand for a younger audience.

Also, by making this an alternative viewpoint narration of a guy and a girl, it can be read by both genders because it's not just talking about two subjects, but two subjects with a different viewpoint.

I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, but I think it would be a great way to learn about the survivors of a death in the family and it can make the reader get a glimsp into what those victims could be feeling after losing a loved one.

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