Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr

This short, but powerful novel is listed on the Ultimate Teen Bookshelf list that was recently put out by the American Library Association. Since I've switched over to youth services I thought I'd try to read as many of these as I can in order to have a better background in YA literature.
My Heartbeat
describes the plight of Ellen, a freshman in high school, and her brother Link and his best friend James. Link and James are older and wiser and allow Ellen to hang out with them on occasion. Ellen has had a crush on James for a while (which he knows about) and admires her brother. When a fellow student asks if Link and James are "a couple" Ellen reevaluates her view of their relationship and decides to ask them. Her probing changes the dynamics of all of their relationships and Ellen and James eventually start dating, while Link has to deal with his confused sexual identity. The writing in My Heartbeat is beautiful and the material is thought provoking. Freymann-Weyr examines the issues of love and who you love in a, mostly, open-minded way. I definitely wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is offended by frank discussion of sexual identity or the opinion that it doesn't matter who you love, as long as you love.

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