Review: Beating Heart by A.M. JenkinsBeating Heart by A. M. Jenkins
Published by HarperTeen on 2009-08-25
Pages: 256
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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She is a ghost: a figure glimpsed from the corner of your eye, a momentary chill, and a memory of secret kisses and hidden passion. He is 17 years old: Evan Calhoun, warm and alive, and ever since moving to this big abandoned house, he has dreamt of her. Ghost and boy fascinate each other–until her memories and his desire collide in a moment that changes them both.

Combining verse fragments with chiseled prose, A. M. Jenkins captures the compelling voice of a long–dead ghost and the perspective of a modern teen, twining mystery and romance in this evocative, sensual, and unrelentingly engrossing novel.

Thoughts: Beating Heart is a short, haunting novel with left me equal parts disturbed and impressed. This is not your average YA novel: there is no garunteed happily ever after, and no love-conquers-all message. This might look like a book about love, but it is not.

Beating Heart is all about sex. The lies we tell to have it, the lies we tell ourselves to keep having it, and the serious damage it can do to a person’s life. Not pregnancy or STDs, but the psycological consequences of sex. And it is not a pretty picture.

Honestly, although I was vaguely disturbed by this book – I’d give it to a teen in a heartbeat. Because, honestly, life is not simple and love doesn’t last forever. It is far too easy to hurt people you’ve cared for, especially the ones you are sleeping with.

Even if this somewhat ominous review has turned you off, give this book a shot. It will take a regular reader only an hour or so to finish, and will put the other novels on your shelves into perspective.

Bottom line? A unique twist on the YA fantasy on the market, Beating Heart is a haunting novel which will change how you read YA.

Kay

Your ghost host at Dead Book Darling
Kay's been blogging about urban fantasy, young adult and werewolves since 2009. She's a firm believer in the many uses of the towel, the science of deduction and other fandom in-jokes. To support her book-buying habit, Kay keeps up a day-job as a science journalist (so feel free to ask her about Physics).

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