Author: Jasmine Warga
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062324675 (HarperCollins)
ISBN-13: 978-0062324672 (HarperCollins)
Reviewed by: Zed
A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.
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.
Quick & Dirty: A suicidal romance
Opening Sentence: Music, especially classical music, especially Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor, has kinetic energy.
There was a lot of hype surrounding this book when it first released and although I didn’t get a chance to read it at the time, I’m so glad I received a review copy from DFT. Just so you know, it was hyped for good reason!
The story is told from Aysel’s perspective, a young girl suffering from depression, wanting to kill herself but is in the search for a suicide partner for ‘moral support’. Aysel uses a suicide website (do such things exist???!!!) and meets her match; Roman, aka frozen robot. The story takes off from there and is a countdown until April 7th, their agreed ‘deathday’.
A surge jolts through my bones and I vaguely remember that this is what excitement feels like. FrozenRobot has perfect timing. Maybe, for the first time in my life, I’m lucky. This must be a sign from the universe-if the only time you get lucky is when you’re planning your suicide, it’s definitely time to go.
Even though the love story was predictable, I still enjoyed reading it. Neither teenager has any hope for the future but, ironically, by meeting their suicide partner they begin to experience living. It’s all about finding reasons to live that are stronger than the reasons to die.
He looks over at me and my heart seizes and I think that any second, it might explode. Sometimes I wonder if my heart is like a black hole – it’s so dense that there’s no room for light, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still suck me in. I’m going to miss Mike the most. I’m going to miss him so much, I almost can’t stand it.
Aysel has a very realistic way of describing depression, and she emphasises the ugly truth of it, like a black slug that sucks her happiness away. Her honesty and exposed feelings really hit home and helped the reader to try and comprehend why she’s so focused on dying.
“You’re like a gray sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.”
But he’s wrong. It’s not that I don’t want to be. But I never wanted to be beautiful because I was sad. FrozenRobot of all people should know that there is nothing beautiful or endearing or glamorous about sadness. Sadness is only ugly, and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t get it. I think what he means to say is that he and I are ugly in the same way and there’s something familiar, comfortable, about that. Comfortable is different from beautiful.
I enjoyed this story more than I expected to because I’ve known people suffering from depression and I know first-hand that it’s an awful place to be. For someone to pull you out of that ‘black hole’ is near enough a miracle, and this story gives the reader that hope.
As I pull out of the school parking lot, I make a promise to myself: I will be stronger than my sadness.
In this tale, Aysel begins to imagine a positive future, but just because she’s started having second thoughts about committing suicide doesn’t necessarily mean that Roman feels the same. Aysel’s new mission is to try and turn Roman around, which is a very scary thought because you can only help someone willing to accept help.
What I also liked about My Heart and Other Black Holes was that the story isn’t focused on Aysel wanting to live for Roman or vice versa. Aysel fights for herself and although it was because of Roman that her perspective changed, he’s not the sole reason for her decision. Her strength comes from the inside and the author is correct about it being a long road to recovery. The fundamental message that I hope everyone takes when reading this is that no matter how difficult and dark things may seem, it does get better if you only let yourself believe.
Yes, I’m broken. And yes, he’s broken. But the more we talk about it, the more we share our sadness, the more I start to believe that there could be a chance to fix us, a chance that we could save each other.
Everything used to seem so final, inevitable, predestined. But now I’m starting to believe that life may have more surprises in store than I ever realized. Maybe it’s all relative, not just light and time like Einstein theorized, but everything. Like everything seems awful and unfixable until the universe shifts a little and the observation point is altered, and then suddenly, everything seems more bearable.
FTC Advisory: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of My Heart and Other Black Holes. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.