Book Review · Contemporary · YA Fiction

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga: Book Review

18336965Sixteen-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.

I picked  up this book solely because of its title: My Heart and Other Black Holes– it’s so wondrously unique and touched me in a way I cannot explain.

Every author in the world has their own personal approach on mental illnesses- anxiety, PTSD, depression- whatever it may be. Saying that, every writer’s perspective is valid. I particularly enjoy the window into an author’s heart and their novels that allow me to look through, if only for a short time.

If I were to briefly describe this red, I would liken All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, albeit less dark. Jasmine Warga tells writes about two suicidal teens: Aysel Seran and Roman Franklin, who meet through a suicide partners site. They make a pact in where they promise commit suicide together in 26 days. However their plans fall apart when Aysel really gets to know Roman. She slowly realizes that a suicide pact may not be a worthy solution. But persuading R0man to see that life is worth living is extremely difficult.

Aysel was a character that was completely consumed by sadness. Reading from her point of view was like watching a black cloud blot out the sun. It both scared and fascinated me. As the book progressed, the cloud that hid Aysel’s sunshine slowly relented. And that gave me tons of hope. I was rooting for Aysel the entire time, rooting for her to show Roman that life beyond black holes is absolutely worth it.

I’ve read my fair share of sad contemporary novels with mental illness as a plot point, but I never could anticipate the endings. I’m so caught up with the story itself that it’s difficult for me to make predictions, needless to say, the conclusion of Warga’s debut novel was shocking but fitting.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Guidance counselors always love to say, ‘Just think positively,’ but that’s impossible when you have this thing inside of you, strangling every ounce of happiness you can muster. My body is an efficient happy-thought-killing-machine.”
  • “He squeezes my hand so tight, I can’t feel it anymore. I wish someone would do that to my heart.”


Last review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Twitter: thebooksavant

Poetry blog: poetrysavant


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