My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr

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Ellen loves Link and James. Her older brother and his best friend are the only company she ever wants. She knows they fight, but she makes it a policy never to take sides. She loves her brother, the math genius and track star. She is totally, madly in love with James, his face full of long eyelashes and hidden smiles. “When you grow out of it,” James teases her, “you will break my heart.”

Ellen knows she’ll never outgrow it. She’ll always love James just the way she’ll always love Link. Then someone at school asks if Link and James might be in love with each other. A simple question.

Link refuses to discuss it. James refuses to stay friends with a boy so full of secrets. Ellen’s parents want Link to keep his secrets to himself, but Ellen wants to know who her brother really is. When is curiosity a betrayal? And if James says he loves her, isn’t that just another way of saying he still loves Link?

My Heartbeat is a fast, furious story in which a quirky triangle learns to change its shape and Ellen, at least, learns the limits of what you can ever know about whom you love.

About Garret Freymann-Weyr

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Garret Freymann-Weyr grew up in New York City and often sets her books there. She went to college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and received an MFA in film from New York University. She has written four books for young adults, including My Heartbeat, which won a Printz Honor for excellence in literature for young adults. Her books have been published in numerous countries including the Netherlands, Japan, and China. She currently lives outside Washington, D. C., with her husband. She has said that the best way to get ideas is to read a lot. ?That gets you thinking in terms of story, character, and image.
Published April 29, 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 160 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Heartbeat

Kirkus Reviews

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When Link begins dating a girl, James and Ellen try to find what they are to each other without Link, Ellen sees her brother’s talents, her parents’ differing desires but very real concerns, and James’s complex emotional life as puzzles to be solved with intensity and with desire.

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Publishers Weekly

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Narrator Ellen learns about love, family and "society's unwritten rules" in this sophisticated but gentle novel set in Manhattan. Ellen adores her older brother, Link, and has had a cru

Mar 18 2002 | Read Full Review of My Heartbeat

Publishers Weekly

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In this story of 14-year-old Ellen's attraction to her brother's best friend, complexities more far-reaching than just sexual concerns come to the fore, when Ellen asks the two about the nature of their relationship.

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Perhaps this speech pattern is meant to show the intellectual abilities of Ellen, Link, and James, but to one who's been around teenagers for many years, the dialogue comes off as pretentious and unreal.

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