Annike: Hey guys, so I recently finished the book My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga and found it a very deep and meaningful book that I thoroughly enjoyed. So here is the review for that…!
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without, 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, 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. 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.
Okay, so I found this book at the library and had recently seen it reviewed around WordPress so figured I’d give it a go. I haven’t been so good with my reading lately so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was one of those stories that is exciting to pick back up after you put it down! I really began by loving the voice of Aysel and I thought it was really nicely written in first person. Although I do have to confess, I still have no clue how to say her name despite the book practically spelling it out for readers.
On with the review. Aysel was a character that really developed through the book and while I may not have been the biggest fan of her at the beginning I slowly came around to really liking her quirky character and the way that everything seemed to relate to physics and relativity. I thought this was actually a really creative way to introduce ideas into the story and have Aysel experience revelations. Then came Roman (aka FrozenRobot) who was a character I really waned to like but is so hard to really engage with a character when there is so little personality shining through his depression. I found Roman difficult to connect with which I know is part of his character but there were moments when I thought he was really well presented and came to life.
The plot in this story is quite slow because there is nothing really concrete or breath taking happening in the events of the story but more, the storyline unfolds along the way in various little types of outings. I quite liked this format but one thing that was slightly disheartening was the lack of continuation in some areas of the story. For example at one point when Tyler, Georgia, Roman and Aysel go to the zoo to work on a project, the day isn’t brought up until the very end where Aysel simply tells her teacher that the project will be due rather than wrapping or reflecting on quite a significant day.
I am also not quite sure about how Aysel came to terms with living rather than committing suicide because from everything that I know about depression and mental health, falling in love with someone is simply not a cure. I believe this is a kind of cliché that I deem unreliable and false. I would have liked to see more of a gradual change from Aysel rather than just a sudden will to live along with Roman or at least have her still obviously suffering through the pain of depression while looking for the light.
However, I did enjoy the ending of the book and the way that the story resolved as I think it is important to highlight hope in Young Adult fiction.
Overall, this was a really good story and it stemmed from a really creative premise. This book made me think and appreciate life and I definitely recommend it as a must read to any Young Adult readers. The writing is really beautiful and the story is impeccably told!
Thanks, A x