(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Michael W. Powell Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Depression & Mental Illness, Family, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult
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...
I have read one other book that focused on suicide… so I found myself comparing a bit when I first started My Heart and Other Black Holes. It was impossible not to because that book was such a hard read and at times this one had me feeling the same way.
In My Heart and Other Black Holes, Aysel is obsessed with planning her own death. She lives with a mother who can barely stand the sight of her, and a family who isn’t really hers… all because she has a father whose crime has defined her short life and made it a living hell.
But she can’t do it on her own… which is how she discovers a website for Suicide Partners. Once she’s there, she’s convinced she’s got a solution in the form of a boy named FrozenRobot… or Roman in real life.
Roman himself is haunted by a tragic family accident and has decided his time has come… he even has the exact date and so he and Aysel agree to be in this together.
Warga has created an amazing story here … one filled with heartbreak and tragedy, but also filled with hope and love. These two desperate teens find each other for a reason and while they have nothing in common in the beginning, as their relationship progresses and the days count down you can’t help but hold your breath wondering what will happen at the end.
I think what I loved most here was the acknowledgment of depression. Aysel didn’t once try and sugarcoat her feelings, she knew exactly what was wrong with her, she knew she needed help… it’s the asking that’s the hardest, and I suppose as a parent the acknowledgement of it is hard too, so to see her and her mother discuss it was an amazing part of this story.
The thing that bothered me about this though, was that there is somewhat of a mystery as to Aysel’s father’s actions. It really irritated me that we had to wait as long as we did to find out what exactly her father had done especially since this the main reason for Aysel’s depression and desire to die. I think for me, I wanted to know why she was so set on this action.
I will say that I loved the progression of the Aysel’s character… seeing her family rally around her, especially her sister, and point out that that things will never change if you don’t let them was wonderful.
Overall, a sad and poignant story filled with hope. Hope that things can, can and will be better someday. Definitely put this one on your to read list if it isn’t already, and I’ll definitely be looking forward to more from Warga in the future.
Special thanks to the author for providing me with a copy for review in exchange for my honest thoughts.