Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Star Rating : 4 out of 5

Content Rating : MODERATE
Back Cover :
"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: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) 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. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince."
 My Thoughts : 
If we’re being honest, parts of this book wrecked me. I mean seriously. I don’t know if I was emotional at the time but I was almost crying while I read this story. It made me feel so absolutely sad for these kids who are suffering with depression who don’t think they have anyone who will understand them. In the book, Aysel cannot deal with the thought that she might turn into her father; and, Roman has not dealt with the guilt he’s feeling after his sister died. Even if this is not your usual genre, READ IT; It is an emotional read and I loved it.
This Young Adult read was given a MODERATE rating due to the mature subject matter and language. There are some F-word derivatives. The suicidal thoughts are pretty heavy; but, I think it’s something that needs to be read and talked about. There are no sex scenes.  

Things I liked :
  • The subject: teen depression/suicide is an issue I feel strongly about and one that is not often discussed seriously. It’s a horrible thing to know that a friend committed suicide (a friend of mine from high school killed herself this past spring) and this book opens some discussion about it.
  • The characters: some people may think this is typical popular-boy-meets-nerdy-girl story, which it kind of is, but I think the subject matter lends itself to deeper and more profound characters. Aysel is a believable nerd, and Roman, while still a typical jock persona sometimes, still has his own quirks.
  • The plot: I liked Aysel’s and Roman’s background. Their tragic stories were original. Too many young adult books give characters the same tragic backstory so it makes it harder to connect with the characters. These were original enough that everyone could feel sympathy for each of them.
Things I didn’t like :
  • The ending: ok ok ok, I liked the ending. (They both live, which is a HUGE relief.) But I don’t like how Aysel comes to depend on Roman for her will to live. She learns that there are more important things to live for than to die for, but I think the central reason for her living is Roman. It’s hard to tie up your whole sense of being in one person. Also, I don’t like how at the end Roman is just supposed to be ok because Aysel is there. He needs some serious counseling. Their relationship seems to be resolved too quick and too easily. Not really realistic.
  • Their names: this is nothing of importance, but I hate their names. Aysel I get because she’s foreign, but Roman? What middle-class white family names their kid Roman? But that’s just me.
What Others Are Saying :

 “My Heart and Other Black Holes is alive with intensity, gut-wrenching honesty, moments of humor, and-of course-heart. This is an extraordinary debut by a striking new voice in YA fiction that left me in awe and moved beyond measure. Not to be missed.” -- Nova Ren Suma, author of IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE
“At times poignant, bitter, and funny, this narrative captures [a] unique voice that questions what it means to die-and to live.” -- Booklist (starred review)

Review by Lydia Jones


Pick up your copy at
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