My Heart and Other Black Holes – 5/5
[There is a trigger warning for suicide in this book/review]
After watching one of my favorite BookTuber, Jesse, review this book – I had to pick it up ASAP! I will link his review video here, so you should definitely give it a watch after you read my review! 🙂
Quick Synopsis: 16-year old Aysel is obsessed with physics and plotting her suicide (yep, no secrets here…). Aysel finds a website called Smooth Passages with a section called Suicide Partners and starts to look through the posts of people who are looking for a suicide partner. Aysel discovers a teenage boy by the handle FrozenRobot (Roman), and signs on to be his suicide partner. As the date of their agreed upon suicide inches nearer, Aysel begins to question whether or not this is the right thing to do…does she choose to live or die with Roman?
I am a fan of YA contemporary books tackling big issues, like suicide. This book felt like no other book that I have read around the idea of suicide or depression. I felt that Jasmine Warga did a great job showing the side of depression and suicide that most people don’t see – the truth that people don’t really want to commit suicide and want to be able to find a reason to live. Suicide becomes the temporary solution for people who are so far into their depression, because they can’t find any other reason to live. To create a story where it is clear that these teenagers are looking for reasons to live – I think is heartbreakingly beautiful and so real.
Jasmine Warga did wonders with her character creation and development. Both of these characters are so consumed with despair over their individual family tragedies, but also so fascinated with a certain aspect of their lives. For Aysel, it’s the world of physics, and for Roman, it’s the game of basketball. There is so much potential in both of them, you just want to pull them out of the book and hold them until all their pain goes away. The relationship that develops between these two is so heartbreaking, beautiful, and authentic. They are able to form a bond so deep because it comes from a place of true empathy and understanding of one another’s pain. It breaks my heart, and then puts it all back together again.
The story is complex, beautiful, and so full of hope. Jasmine Warga did an amazing job not only creating characters that were complex in their sadness, she also wove together a story that was as sad, as it was hopeful. Warga did a beautiful job showing how dark and deep one’s depression can be, making everything around them seem so hopeless. She, also, did a great job though, of weaving in strands of hopefulness, which makes it evident that one does not want to ever fall deeper into our depression, but we are looking for ways out. I think this was a genuine account of how depression and suicide ideations can plague someone, but an even more beautifully hopeful story of how one can crawl out of their hole and choose life.
This book will break your heart, put it back together again, and fill you with so much hope. I highly recommend this book – as this book has slowly risen to the top of my favorites list for 2015 already!! 🙂