My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine WargaPublished by Balzer + Bray on February 10th 2015
ARC from Author
Purchase on Amazon・The Book Depository
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who’s haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner.
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.
There’s something about sad beautiful hopeful books that I can never shake off- Jasmine Warga’s debut novel, being one of them. Maybe it’s because it somehow makes me think about life and humanity among many other things. Maybe it’s because the characters and the words crawl into my heart, light it up with a spark and remind me that it isn’t a black hole after all.
“Sometimes, for me, it feels like my grief is eating me alive. I always thought the hardest moments would be when I remember things about her, but that’s not true. The hardest moments are when I miss her in the future.”
For a contemporary novel, My Heart And Other Black Holes is dark, delving on issues like depression and suicide. Aysel and her suicide partner, Frozen Robot/Roman, both are haunted by their tragic lives and the people lost to them. Both own unbearable grief that vibrated through the pages and I kept thinking to myself while I was reading how much I wish I could take away their pain. In several ways, I really felt their hurt and their sadness. I think a large part of that was because Aysel’s narrative and voice was so genuine. As the main character, I connected with her a lot and I loved her Physics geek personality and her dark sense of humour. Moreover, the growth and development I saw in Aysel was very inspiring.
“I once read in my physics book that the universe begs to be observed, that energy travels and transfers when people pay attention. Maybe that’s what love really boils down to- having someone who cares enough to pay attention so that you’re encouraged to travel and transfer, to make your potential energy spark into kinetic energy.”
While My Heart And Other Black Holes leaves a heavy feeling to the reader, I really really loved how Jasmine kept everything so honest- not once disguising the characters’ melancholy thoughts or romanticizing suicide. That said, there is romance in the book. As Aysel and Roman plan the end of their lives together, they grow a connection so strong and exquisite. All through out the story, I was amazed by how their relationship and their feelings for each other became more solid and definitive. It honestly had me crying at 3am but I regret nothing.
“He squeezes my hand so tight, I can’t feel it anymore. I wish someone would do that to my heart.”
I firmly believe it takes guts to write a novel like this one and I admire Jasmine so much for carrying it out brilliantly with her elegant and thought-provoking writing. As it pierced through my heart completely, I can attest that My Heart And Other Black Holes is poignant and moving and worth the read.
WOAH. This sounds absolutely amazing. I’m going to add it right now. The quotes you shared sold me – the writing seems expert and gut-wrenching. Just how I like it! GAH!
This is in my tbr!
I don’t generally read books with suicide as I find them very sad, but I might have to make an exception for this one – it sounds really good. Fantastic review!
I’m listening to the audio for this one soon, I’m excited because the narrator is really good. Sad books like this are hit or miss for me, but I have a feeling I’ll really like this one.
This thing, about depression and suicide, is fast becoming the flavor of YA now, and for the better I think. Depression and suicidal attempts are both sad and true and we should talk more about them.
Fine review, Hazel. And happy almost book birthday to My Heart and Other Black Holes.
This book is not what I expected it to be but her “voice” is beautiful. Melancholy but really sweet too. I’m sure many of us can sympathise with her. :)
Amazing review, Hazel! I love the quotes that you picked, and I love this -> “not once disguising the characters’ melancholy thoughts or romanticizing suicide.” Happy reading! :)
I felt very much the same way about My Heart and Other Black Holes! It’s such a sad story, with such bleak circumstances, but there’s also a very obvious thread of hope running through it all. Jasmine Warga’s debut is certainly great, and I’m glad you enjoyed it too!
This sounds very good. Such a brave move to write about depression, but I am so glad Jasmine Warga has as it can happen to anyone – and does.
that’s an interesting premise
I’m so in love with this book, I am. I’ve read some criticisms (possibly the same person) who complained that it was almost irresponsible to show two suicidal depressed kids in love because love can’t be portrayed as a cure for depression, and what if they break up or one gets sick again? To that, I say that’s not how I read it in the book at all. It was being able to connect with someone, anyone, who understands that allowed the possibility of getting better. It’s why support groups are so helpful! Either way, it’s a beautifully written, realistic, heart-breaking, heart-warming book. It definitely deserves the hype.
I’ve been looking forward to this one. I usually really want to read those kind of books when I read their premise, and then I get scared that I’ll be too sad reading them. I’m glad it didn’t disappoint. Your review makes me really want to read it!
I’ve seen a lot of reviews for this book and some have raved about it and others have been meh. I just that just shows how subjective reading is. This is a great review and you’ve really explained well what it is you enjoyed about the book.
I feel like I really want to read this but the suicide thing really puts me off :/
This is my first suicide YA book and I loved it. It’s cute, funny and definitely inspiring.