By: Celine | January 26, 2015 | (31) Comments

Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine WargaMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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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I had high expectations for My Heart and Other Black Holes. Generally books about these kind of issues really get to me and make me really emotional, so My Heart (not going to type it out every time) had a lot to live up to. Did it deliver? Yes and no.

My main problem was that it didn’t really move me. I cared, but it just never got to the point where I couldn’t stop reading and everything had to be okay. I just didn’t get really emotional like I’d expected. Then again, that’s quite a lot to ask of a book and maybe it’s just me. After all, I am pretty much heartless. *coughs*

But I did like most of the book. The dynamic between Aysel and Roman is just so… strange, which makes sense. After all, they’re going to die together. It also gave a connection between the two that was instant and true. After all, forming bonds with other people is all about opening up and sharing personal things and stories, and what’s more personal than the reason you want to die? There’s a certain intimicy in dying together, and Warga captured that perfectly. It was awkward and strange and good. Aysel and Roman might not know each other for a long period of time, but the things they share are just so personal that it had about the same effect of letting their relarionship build over the course of a few months.

And all the things that accompany such a thing are neatly described by Warga. The guilt when Aysel meets Roman’s mother for the first time, the fear and anticipation in counting down the days, the shock and perhaps even a little thrill when getting a project due for a date after you’ll be gone, serving as just another reminder… Well. My Heart captured such a broad range of emotions, and even if I didn’t feel them myself I understood them. Aysel is both determined and confused, both excited and scared about it all.

What I also liked is how the novel includes more than “just” the suicide (I really don’t know a better way to phrase this – of course such a topic can fill books and books on its own, but hopefully you know what I’m trying to say). It also deals with family issues, wanting to reconnect with family members who are in special facilities, and, of course, life. Because around halfway Aysel realizes that there may be more to live for than to die for.

And this is also where my second problem lies. It just felt a bit sudden. I understand that it came from a moment of clarity and such, but I felt like the book was maybe a bit too short to fully envelop these issues. Because Aysel was so incredibly set on dying that doing a sudden 180 felt a bit out of character. And I realize that wanting to die and wanting to live are maybe so completely opposite that if you don’t feel one way you have to feel the other, but I don’t know. It was just a personal thing, but I wish it was looked into more.

However, overall I really enjoyed this novel. It was emotional-but-not-emotional, in that I felt for Aysel but not with Aysel. The characters were well rounded out and the connection between Aysel and Roman just felt… right, or true. In all I just really enjoyed this, and I’ll be on the lookout for more by Jasmine Warga.

~Thank you, Balzer & Bray, for the review copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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31 Responses to Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

  1. I’ve been anticipating My Heart and other Black Holes for a while! It just seems like a really gripping read. And I like that it doesn’t look at suicide only, like you said, but also family and such because those aspects are really important as well!

    Great review, I look forward to reading it 😀
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline MillerMy Profile

  2. Hilary says:

    This book is most definitely on my TBR list. I sometimes feel the same way about the abrupt endings of some books. Sort of like when you get to a near the end of a book and you realize “wait, something is major is going to happen” before it actually happens. It’s much too sudden and you’re left floundering.
    Hilary recently posted…Beautiful People: Author EditionMy Profile

  3. JULES says:

    “After all, they’re going to die together” — I choked on this one hahaha

    I’ve heard of this book before, but never bothered to check it out till today. I can that i am definitely interested. But the same with other books with suicide subjects, I am apprehensive and afraid to read it. But I will try. hahahaha
    JULES recently posted…Book Review: The Vanishing Girl by Laura ThalassaMy Profile

  4. Hmmmmm *strokes moustache* I feel like if a book is going to deal with this sort of thing then you need to be super connected to the characters. Otherwise what’s the point?

    I’m glad there’s a focus on family too though – that’s a HUGE selling point for me!
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…Sequels That Know How to Do Their Thing {The Birdie Musings}My Profile

  5. Sounds pretty good! 🙂 Great review, I’ll probably pick it up some time. 🙂
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…What Tomorrow Brings: The Awesome by Eva DarrowsMy Profile

  6. Alreem says:

    sound like a good book, I have not heard of this author before, maybe i will try to read for hear 😀
    Alreem recently posted…Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick RiordanMy Profile

  7. I’m not sure this is the book for me at the moment, I’m staying away from death-related stories for a while (even though she clearly changes her mind – phew!). I’m glad you enjoyed this overall Celine, even if it wasn’t as emotionally powerful as you’d hoped going in!
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…The Originals Blog Tour + GiveawayMy Profile

  8. JennRenee says:

    I am a little bummed it wasn’t a hard hit emotional book for you. I get what you mean. I have a few that really hit others hard but not me. Those books that make you think and feel but don’t rip your heart out and stomp on it. When I read these types of books, I like my heart to be ripped out and stomped on. I still think this book has a lot of fresh and new to it. There are lots of books right now on the same subject but this one seems to be a bit different. Although I have not read it yet but I feel that from the summary. Good to see you did enjoy it.

  9. I’m sad that you didn’t love this one more, but I understand where you’re coming from. The change in her decision was a bit sudden, but I think because I knew it was coming, I was okay with it. I would have liked the book to be a little longer though.
    Great review, Celine!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : The Boy Next Door by Katie Van ArkMy Profile

  10. Kirsty-Marie says:

    That was my main problem too, I mean, I liked the characters and all, but compared to another I read before it and after it, it never made me cry. I liked Aysel more than Roman, maybe because we don’t get his perspective? I just didn’t connect to him that much, and considering his situation, I should’ve. But agree, it was too short to explore all of it, especially in Aysel’s case. Still, it’s an amazing read and important story, I just didn’t like it as much as some others I’ve read.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: The Mime OrderMy Profile

  11. My Heart and Other Black Holes seems so similar to All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I’m reading All the Bright Places right now, and I have mixed feelings about it. One one hand, it’s wonderfully written, but on the other hand, I think it’s a little bit too dark to be my type of book.
    Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination recently posted…Book Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus SedgwickMy Profile

  12. I’m nervous about books like this. Sometimes I love them, sometimes they don’t affect me as much as they probably should.
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  13. I was kind of iffy on this book because lately I’ve been seeing too many books with suicide as a main theme. Sometimes it’s done spectacularly well, but I don’t know if this one hits the mark. I mean if I’m not connected to the characters, how am I supposed to feel something? Nevertheless I have this one for review, so I’ll have to read it sometime. Great review, Celine.
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…Review: Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly OstertagMy Profile

  14. Hmm… I like that this one tackles such a tough topic, but I don’t like that you felt little emotion or attachment to the characters. I don’t think this one is for me. Thanks for your helpful review.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Tour Stop: Once Loved(Shattered Past #2) by Cecy RobsonMy Profile

  15. Rashika says:

    Nawwwww. You’re not heartless, Celine! Unless you are saying I am heartless because I am not moved by all the books in which case… awk moment… 😛

    I was planning on reading this one but I cannot quite remember what changed my mind about the book! I think it could just be that it deals with such a touchy issue and I find it hard sad books. I have a limit and with all these sad books coming out lately.. it’s hard 😛

    Anywayy, I think 180 turns a little disappointing especially since it seems like it takes away from character development time. We don’t get to see why the character change their mind, it just happens suddenly and without much reason and that’s sad 🙁

    I am glad though that even if you didn’t love this book to death, you were able to enjoy it! 🙂

    Lovely review, Celine! 😀
    Rashika recently posted…Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinMy Profile

  16. Sounds like it doesn’t quite hit the depth it should. Too bad. Still, doesn’t sound like a terrible book either. Hm.. perhaps now that I know what to expect, I might enjoy it more. Brilly review!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Of Fire and Ash by Amber ArgyleMy Profile

  17. I only heard of this recently and really want to read it. From the synopsis I’d assume that I would really feel something, so it’s interesting that it never truly got to you as you read it. I do like that it covers more than the topic of suicide and looks at the impact too

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist
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  18. Elicia Cheah says:

    I’ve been wanting to read My Heart for a while now, for the same reasons you did. My reaction to this book might be a little more emotional than yours since I AM an emotional person :p Love this review!
    Elicia Cheah recently posted…ARC Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. SalterMy Profile

  19. Good Lord. Weird doesn’t even come close to the basis of these characters’ relationships. I was looking forward to reading this, but now I’m just…getting pretty tired of the way issues such as self-harm/suicides are being tackled in YA.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Photo Vomit [#13]: Hold Still by Nina LacourMy Profile

  20. Megan says:

    From the sound of this, The Last Time We Said Goodbye was a much better story about suicide for you than this one was. Such a shame, because I absolutely adore the title for this book (I mean, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES — ahem, science geek here xD) and it sounds so beautifully different from other tragedy stories, but it turned out to be only so-so. That’s pretty much how I feel toward most books though, especially contemporaries. I enjoy them, but they don’t make a lasting impact on me, and the characters are only okay, nothing special. And Celine, I’m willing to bet that I’m a lot more heartless than you are, haha.

    I’d be surprised if the relationship between Aysel and Roman wasn’t weird, tbh. They’re kind of like a train wreck waiting to happen, and that kind of chemistry is hard to pull off without making everything seem too overly-dramatic, so I’m happy that the author was able to do such a good job with it! I’m getting kind of curious. O_O

    Ugh, suddenness. Aysel’s sudden clarity reminds me of instalove. Yeah, not really the best comparison ever… But overall, it sounds like you still managed to enjoy the book quite a bit, even though it wasn’t as touching or moving as you expected it to be. Lovely review as always, Celine! I’m still intrigued, but don’t know if I’ll give it a go yet, lol.
    Megan recently posted…About Me — in GIFs! :1My Profile

  21. I DO want to try this one but I’m a little cautious. Pity it’s short and has that suddeneness. Meh. Still. CAN’T HAVE EVERYTHING RIGHT. XD Although I am wary because it takes a LOT to move me and get me feeling empathetic towards a book (I’m not a very compassionate person) hehe, so we’ll see how I go when I eventually get to this one right?! XD
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  22. Amy-Anne Williams says:

    LOOK AT HOW NICE THAT COVER IS! I know that I shouldn’t judge a book by a cover, but that cover is pretty cool aha C:

    Little Moon Elephant

  23. Sorry this didn’t move you as much as you’d think. It makes sense that the dynamic between the two is so intimate and strange. I’m glad Warga captured it perfectly! Hmm it does sound a bit sudden, the change of heart. Lovely review, Celine!
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  24. Lily says:

    I know what you mean about feeling for the characters but not really caring about them. It’s like you want to know what happens but you want to actually ‘need to know’ what happens. the ‘need’ feeling is essential with these types of sensitive subjects since they make the reading experience just that much more intense and intimate. I’m sorry this one didn’t deliver on that front but at least it was a book you were able to enjoy. Great review.
    Lily recently posted…I’ll Meet You There: ReviewMy Profile

  25. Kelly says:

    Sounds like one of those reads that is incredibly character driven, and if there’s no connection that it probably won’t work really. I love emotional reads, but I can’t imagine this would really resonate with me either. Lovely review poppet, sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this a little more <3
    Kelly recently posted…Professor Birdbrain: Red Rising ReviewMy Profile

  26. Melanie says:

    Ooh I totally see where you’re coming from! I have had instances where I’ve cared but haven’t been really moved by the book. I’m not 100% sure about this one because the idea of “Suicide Partners” sorta disturbs me but if it’s dealt with nicely, then I’ll totally bite. But like, taking a 180 like that? Eeeeeeeh

    Lovely review, hun <33

  27. Errrrrggggghhhh this book sounds so much like a combination of I Was Here and All the Bright Places. There are so many books about suicide lately! Great review, it does sound crazily emotional and intimate in a strange kind of way. Lovely review Celine!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn Review: Fact or Fiction?My Profile

  28. Veronika says:

    Oh gosh, now I’m nervous. I’m a heartless one too and I actually never cry on books so now I’m not sure this will be able to move me either. Anyhow despite that, and the sudden change which I’m not sure what to think of at this point, My Heart and Other Black Holes sounds pretty good and unique.
    Lovely review! 🙂
    Veronika recently posted…Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book ClubMy Profile

  29. Valerie says:

    Hmm, I wasn’t really set on reading this this year, but it does show a lot of potential. It kind of reminds me of All The Bright Places, but not really. But yeah, it kind of sucks if you don’t feel for the characters, because then the whole book kind of falls apart. 🙁 I might try reading this one day, but it’s not really high on my list 😛
    Valerie recently posted…Review: The Kiss of DeceptionMy Profile

  30. I really want to read this! Although I do wish it was a bit more moving and emotional (as in feeling with the characters). I’m glad you enjoyed it! Lovely review! 🙂
    Jessica @ Strung Out On Books recently posted…Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenMy Profile

  31. benish khan says:

    This is another novel I’ve been waiting to read – I’m really happy you liked it though! I have to check it out, Fab review 🙂 I hope the book is as good as it sounds.
    benish khan recently posted…Blackout by Meredith McCardle ♥ ReviewMy Profile

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