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. Told in alternating voices of the main characters, My Beating Teenage Heart paints 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. My Beating Teenage Heart will appeal to fans of Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution, Amy Huntley's The Everafter, Nina LaCour's Hold Still, and Gayle Forman's If I Stay.
VOYA, October 2011:
Life is full of mysteries and unanswered questions. This novel is an excellent bibliotherapy for anyone who has recently suffered an unexplainable loss and has to keep living. Martin has written a teen angst novel filled with all the "big questions" of life. It resembles a teen version of the play Whose Life is it Anyway? by Brian Clark. The book may wake the reader up to all the unrecognized beauty life has to offer. Reviewer: Ellen Frank