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 Heartpaints 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.
My Beating Teenage Heart was incredibly sad - Breckon's younger sister has just died and he's trying to deal with the grief. And since it was a totally unexpected accident, it was that much harder. In comes Ashlyn, who is like a spirit, but she's tethered to Breckon and is forced to watch him. At first she can't remember who she is, but then suddenly the memories start coming back. I liked learning more and more about Ashlyn, and finally seeing what happened to get her to this state.
The book is narrated by both characters. Going into the book is a little overwhelming, but it has to be. Since Ashlyn's the initial narrator, and since she's suspended in a place she doesn't understand, we don't get a completely clear sense of story from the beginning. But that's what drives the novel. The topics covered in the story are incredibly emotional, and as readers, we're able to trust Martin to tackle these things gracefully.
Overall, I thought My Beating Teenage Heart was very well-written.