‘My Heart and Other Black Holes’ by Jasmina Warga
|by Terese, 14|
‘My Heart and Other Black Holes’
February 10th 2015
HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
The publishers Blurb:
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 to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.
Depression is a major focal point in ‘My Heart and Other Black Holes’ and as an individual who has had no personal experience with depression, I can’t personally relate to Aysel’s illness.
But I can say, that I kind of got the idea of depression by reading this book. Aysel describes her illness as a black slug sitting in her stomach and chest, it eats up all her happiness, and therefore she has nothing left to be happy about. The author did such a good job describing this illness, one that affects many, and helped me to better understand it.
I felt that because I understood the illness, I also understood Aysel better than I would have if the book had lacked its good descriptions. If you look past the illness, I felt like I could relate to Aysel and many of the other characters. They were well portrayed and had different personalities. They seemed realistic and relatable, with faults and habits. I could even feel a definite personality from small characters like Aysel’s classmate, Tyler, and her colleagues at work.
But most of all I got to know Aysel and Roman. I could really feel the pain Aysel and Roman lived with, I somewhat understood why they made their decision. The decision to kill themselves. They both live with great pain and have no idea how to handle it, so they make the decision of ending it all with one jump. Suicide may be the easy way out for some people, but it doesn’t seem to be with these two, so they find each other. It’s important for them not to flake at the last minute, so having someone to help may be a good idea in such a situation.
Still has humour
The book is pretty depressing and sad with all the talk about suicide and depression, but it could quickly turn from sad to witty in a matter of a few lines. It may be because of Aysel’s special sense of humor. She sometimes makes jokes about her depression. Her personality was snarky and frank.
Because of her jokes, Roman thinks she’s not for real and don’t want to go through with it, at least in the start. What he doesn’t know then is that’s it’s meant to be ironic and something Aysel does automatically. I was personally impressed that the author could add humor and the book still stayed as serious as it is.
I liked the book, I quite liked it, but I still felt it missed something. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but it had to do with the ending. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I felt like it missed a clear ending. For some stories, an abrupt ending is great, it leaves more for the imagination, but here I would really have liked an epilogue or something. I felt like there were some unresolved things and that really annoyed me.
But besides that, it was a great book, which is why I gave it four stars. Four big stars.