Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase
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.
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!~
Latest posts by Celine (see all)
- Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - January 18, 2016
- Celine’s 2015 End of Year Survey - December 31, 2015
- Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy - September 7, 2015
- That Time I Reread the Entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series - August 26, 2015