My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes
Author: Jasmine Warga
Series: N/A
Pages: 302
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 10, 2015

       “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.”

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“Depression is like a heaviness that you can’t ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and your blood.”

Jasmine Warga’s My Heart and Other Black Holes is as heartbreaking as it is hopeful. Ayzel has been silently dealing with a growing sadness that’s been gnawing away at her insides. Ayzel’s relationship with her father was never perfect, especially when he seemed to get more and more unstable, but she always felt more of a connection with him than her mother. But when her father committed an unspeakable crime, Ayzel had no choice but to join her mother’s new family. Not only does she feel like an outsider in her small town, where everyone looks at her as an extension of her father, but even in her own home, she knows she’s different from her stepsiblings. Ayzel is convinced that it’s only a matter of time before whatever lurked inside her father comes barreling out of her. After all, how can she still love a man who committed such an unspeakable act?

Ayzel is ready for a way out and suicide feels like her only option. When she makes a suicide pact with Roman, a fellow teen also dealing with depression, she has every intention of following through. But Ayzel begins to have doubts the more she spends time with him and the more she begins to realize what she’ll be leaving behind. Both Ayzel and Roman are dealing with loss, while one is consumed with fear, the other is consumed with guilt. It’s important to note that these characters come from different backgrounds and are dealing with different issues. It’s a reminder that depression isn’t predictable, that it can affect anyone and it isn’t an easy road to travel.

My Heart and Other Black Holes deals unapologetically with depression and suicide. Warga is quick to remind readers that mental illness is not something to be romanticized, to hold up on a pedestal and call beautiful. It’s messy, all-consuming, and does not come with a quick fix. Hope is also an important concept in this novel; Warga provides another way out for her characters without giving an unrealistic impression that treatment will be easy.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★

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14 thoughts on “My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

  1. This is the first review that I have read for this. I love a book that takes on the heavier subjects in life, especially when the author takes it on in a realistic way that doesn’t glamorize it. Thanks for the great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Friday 56, #97: My Heart and Other Black Holes | A Kernel of Nonsense

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