Study Guide

My Heartbeat Genre

By Garret Freymann-Weyr


Family Drama; Young Adult Literature; Coming of Age

Family Drama

This story focuses on the McConnell family and the conflicts that arise when Link's sexuality is questioned. There is a lot of angst about parental judgment, expectations and familial ambition, and a little bit of sibling rivalry just for kicks.

Young Adult Literature

Shmoopers like to define YA Lit as any literature that is geared toward young adults, but we wouldn't ever want to restrict a book to just that audience. People of any age can enjoy My Heartbeat, but the author definitely intended it to be enjoyed by a younger age set. We can tell by the simple language Freymann-Weyr uses to convey complex ideas, the themes of the novel, and the teenagers hanging out at center stage in the plot.

Coming of Age

Coming of age books are all about the struggles of young adults as they try to understand their newfound sense of maturity, sexuality, and independence. Ellen is doing exactly this as she tries to comprehend Link's possible homosexuality, James's bisexuality, her own burgeoning sexuality, and who she really is and how she fits in and what she likes and who she likes and… man, coming of age is exhausting