My Heart and Other Black Holes Hardcover – 10 February 2015
- Publisher : Balzer & Bray/Harperteen (10 February 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062324675
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062324672
- Reading age : 14 - 17 years
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.67 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 870,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"Debut novelist Warga addresses adolescent depression and suicide with honesty and grace"--Publishers Weekly
"Earnest and heartfelt . . . any teen who's ever felt like an outsider will be able to relate to Aysel's and Roman's fully realized characters."--Kirkus Reviews
"Warga delves honestly into the very difficult issues of teenage depression...sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but ultimately filled with hope."--Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
"Debut author Warga unflinchingly tackles the grim subject matter with empathy, sensitivity, and honesty, without trivializing her protagonists' disturbing thoughts or emotions . . . [with an] utterly endearing romance."--The Horn Book
"[The book] addresses serious issues with complexity and humor . . . thoughtfully presented."--School Library Journal
"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
"With high intelligence and a massiveness of heart, Warga gifts us with a novel that has the music of Mozart, the logic of advanced physics, and the vision to see the link between them. This is something utterly new, a book that is kinetic and beautiful and unexpectedly life-affirming."--Chris Lynch, National Book Award Finalist for Inexcusable and Michael L. Printz Honor-winner for Freewill
From the 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.
This is a gorgeously written and compulsively readable novel about the transformative power of love, heralding the arrival of an extraordinary new voice in teen fiction, Jasmine Warga.
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Top review from Australia
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This was a good book and if you enjoyed this one I recommend you read “Letters to the Lost”.
Top reviews from other countries
It also follows popular 16 year old talented Roman who has the “perfect” life.
Aysel and Roman meet online and become partner, but not as you would expect.
Aysel and Roman have a special date set for April 7th.
Aysel and Roman both want to die.
Aysel and Roman are suicide partners.
After meeting online on a website called Suicide Partners, Aysel and Roman arrange to meet in order to arrange the details for April 7th.
I have been really enjoying reading books about mental health this year. After reading
If I Was Your Girl, Under Rose Tainted Skies, Mockingbird and El Deafo in January for a read-a-thon, I knew I had to pick some more up as soon as I got the chance, and as soon as I started reading I was hocked. It is a real page turner for contemporary, YA, lit lovers, and anyone who wants to know more about mental health.
I thought the whole idea of this bought a new look at how people both deal with and perceive mental illness. It was obviously from the moment they had their first meet that they were extremely different people, and thought of death in completely different ways to one another, even though the ultimate outcome would be the same.
There was so much more to the story than just suicide which is what I really enjoyed. It drew a honest, insightful and concise picture of 2 teens living with depression. I liked that we took a look into both teens lives and got to know how and why they felt the need to end their lives so young. Aysel feels scared and alone after her father committed an unthinkable act, whilst Roman is struggling to get over a family tragedy that he blames himself for. I honestly believe that more people than we think can relate to these characters throughout the book.
Personally I really liked how the author ended the book. Contrary to a lot of reviews I have read, it did not disappoint. However the part where Aysel seems to reconsider her plans so early on in the book (this is not a spoiler as the synopsis states that “Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it”) was a slight disappointment as it just seemed to laugh a little at those with the mental illness, and how quickly someone can change their mind so easily with no help after so long of feeling suicidal. It was for this reason that I actually preferred the character that Warga created in Roman, as his story just seemed a lot more genuine.
I would encourage more people to pick it up and read My Heart and Other Black Holes. It taught me a lot about how people with suicidal thoughts and mental illnesses think (more so with Roman) and why they believe they “deserve to die”. Obviously all cases are different, but we need to start understanding it a little more so that the everyday person is more capable of seeing the signs and therefore would be able to offer help, support or take control.
MY FAVORITE QUOTE
“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.”
It was a slow start, but I’m almost certain it’s supposed to be that way. It lacked urgency, which of course mirrored Aysel’s depression in a very poignant way. The descriptions of depression were powerful and heartbreaking, and I think this book could help break down some barriers.
But it’s a tough read. It’s very heavy (not literally) and difficult to read too much in one go. It also made me feel isolated and sad in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. For this reason, it was a struggle to pick up because I didn’t want to feel too strongly what Aysel was feeling.
The characters were believable and realistic, and I could see them both clearly in my head. Aysel’s sarcastic comments were often pretty dark but they made me laugh – sometimes inappropriately. The book is filled with a layer of black humour. However, it’s also filled with a lot of beautiful thoughts.
There’s not much else to say. I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it. I’m not sure what star rating to give it. This book made me feel things in a way no other book has. But I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.
My Heart and Other Black Holes is so heavy it makes you feel like drowning, but it is well worth keeping yourself afloat till the end.
First Blogged on Movellas: [...]
Aysel, a sixteen-year-old who has decided that she wants to die. She finds Roman (Frozen Robot) in an online chatroom for people seeking a suicide partner as she is unsure if she can do this on her own and he has a very overprotective mother. Both Asyel and Roman have suffered unimaginable tragedy, a father who has killed and a sister under her brother’s care dies from a seizure in the bath means both don’t want to continue.
As a result of their friendship and the fact that Asyel has someone to talk to about how she feels, she begins to notice her mood changing, and her depression lifting allowing her to see that she doesn’t want to die. However, Roman has a differing opinion and she spends her time trying to convince him to live.
Even though Roman had made up his mind and regardless of him being able to open up to Aysel the main positive message from this book is to talk about how you feel, don’t hide it because when you are deep in depression you find it hard to see the reality. A very realistic message that can be understood by people who have been touched by depression, and that people who haven’t been there should know.
I think this is a very important topic to explore for all ages. Suicide is not something routinely talked about in general society, but hiding your feelings and any thoughts about suicide are dangerous. There is still so much stigma surrounding suicide that getting help should not be viewed poorly.
I was a little taken aback by some of the language and the concept of suicide pacts and partners in themselves. The advert that is posted by Roman states he doesn’t want a “flake” someone who will back out of the pact and this is referenced several times during the book. My issue here is that there could be some legal ramifications as there have now been cases where people have been prosecuted for encouraging another person to commit suicide. I couldn’t help but wonder for a more impressionable person that by telling them I don’t want a flake could add additional pressure if that person changes their mind. (For me as a person with borderline personality disorder and find self-identity tricky I generally go along with the thoughts and opinions of others around me).
Whilst I think this story could happen in reality and that the book covers an important topic, but be aware that some of the language may make you feel conflicted.