My Heartbeat – book review

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My Heartbeat
by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Ellen, 14, is close to her older brother Link (short for Lincoln) and his best friend James. She’s had a crush on James for as long as she can remember, which both Link and James think is adorable. They often allow her to tag along on their adventures and be a part of their conversations. It’s not until Ellen starts high school (where James and Link also attend) that she learns how other people perceive their friendship. Are they a couple? Are they gay? When she attempts to find the answer to her question, Link vehemently rebuffs her. James, however, is fine declaring his feelings for Link. They fight, part ways, and Link starts dating a poplar girl at school (as if he has something to prove). Meanwhile, Ellen and James continue to see each other and eventually James reciprocates Ellen’s feelings for and attraction to him. There’s still a part of Ellen that believes James and Link belong together, despite all of this. Learning who they are and finding and developing their passions takes place in the midst of the pressures of college applications and the expectations of their families. A beautiful, honest, realistic story of hope, anticipation, and becoming.

Reviewed by YA Librarian