Reviews

Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes
Author: Jasmine Warga
Type: Fiction
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date published: February 10th 2015
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 320

Rating: 4/5

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. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

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A wonderful story. I couldn’t help but feel my heart warming as I read through the ending.

The story is told through the eyes of Aysel, a conflicted protagonist. She feels out of place because of her Turkish descent, but more so because of the label she gained after the violent outbreak of her father. Now in the small town of hers, she’s known as the daughter of a murderer and a freak.

From the start, I immediately knew that I would like Aysel. Her snarkiness and light (or dark) humour really made all the boring and mundane stuff sound so interesting. Did I also mention that she really liked physics? (geez, sorry, I know I’m a nerd, but I couldn’t help it)

Anyways, after I read the blurb, I wasn’t sure why she would be struggling this much because of what her dad did. I couldn’t see why that would be a reason to want to end her life. But after reading and learning more about Aysel, I started to understand her reasoning and how she truly was struggling because of it.

I was really surprised at the idea of Smooth Passages, the site used to find suicide partners that brought Aysel to Roman.

“You’re like a grey sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.”

And Roman… Can I say how awesome I think he is? And how tragic he is as well? He’s filled with so much potential and passion, that it’s impossible to understand why he no longer wants to live. Of course, he eventually tells Aysel, just as she tells him, but it just seems so hard to grasp their reasons. While he shows the rest of the world the normal side of him, Aysel is the only one to see FrozenRobot, and evidently, she doesn’t like it. Yet even during his sadness, he shows acts of kindness, compassion, and consideration. It just shows to explain how complex a person can be and how one doesn’t have to lose the rest of their emotions to be sad.

I feel like the bottom line is that there are so many dimensions of a person. Jasmine Warga really brought to light how it was impossible to make assumptions about a person. They can’t easily be described as black or white. We are all shade of grey and constantly changing.

I honestly loved it. But I knew I would have loved it more if it had been more fleshed out. I absolutely enjoyed reading through Aysel’s eyes and learning more about her and her family. Not only that, I loved the little insightful thoughts that Aysel found in little daily things and acts.

“And this time, I can feel my hand. I can feel everything. And I want to keep feeling everything. Even the painful, awful, terrible things. Because feeling things is what lets us know that we’re alive.
And I want to be alive.”

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