Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: With the increasing number of books devoted to the topic of mental illness, Jasmine Warga’s My Heart and Other Black Holes distinguishes itself by not just having its main character contemplate suicide, but looking to do so with a partner. While I found My Heart and Other Black Holes to be pretty solidly written, there were some issues that I had with it. So, I figured I’d do a pros and cons list for this book. 

  • Based on the subject, I thought My Heart and Other Black Holes would be a darker read. Instead, it had a quite hopeful tone.
  • I like that Warga didn’t glamourize depression and that she shows how important it is to talk to someone and seek help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from depression.
  • By having Roman be depressed, I really liked that My Heart and Other Black Holes showed that depression can affect anybody; there isn’t a certain type of person that’s more prone to depression than someone else.
  • Both Aysel (pronounced Uh-zell) and Roman came across as layered, realistic characters.
  • To me, it seemed like Aysel got better because she started falling for Roman. I think there should have been a stronger and clearer emphasis on the fact that love isn’t a cure for depression.
  • I also didn’t think that having two suicidal teenagers fall in love was the best recipe for a romance. Despite their chemistry, I would have liked it better if Aysel and Roman had simply stayed as friends.
  • Early in My Heart and Other Black Holes, it’s implied that part of the reason Aysel is currently so depressed is because of something her dad did. While Warga makes it seem like a huge mystery, it turns out that there isn’t some crazy twist behind what he did. He murdered someone, plain and simple, although it sounds like he did so while experiencing a delusion. 
My Heart and Other Black Holes will be released on February 10, 2015 by Balzer + Bray. 

Comments About the Cover: It’s interesting and different. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.


  1. This is a book where I would really like to read it! I think the title is awesome and it drew me in initially. I also like reading and understanding the theme of mental illness. You did say you didn't like how the love drew her out of the depression, but sometimes love is that extra push you need ;) I look forward to reading this myself!~

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  2. I like how there is more books coming out about mental illness as it is definitely a topic that needs to be talked about. I'm also glad this one has a hopeful note despite it being about two suicidal teens. I also agree with you that its important to address a realistic solution to depression rather than a movie solution.

  3. I love that it deals with depression so realistically, because it truly can affect anyone and there's no shame in it, which is extremely important. I'm also glad it ends on a hopeful note. I'm not in the mood for heartbreaking books, but this... this I'm very much in the mood for.

  4. Hmm, yeah that doesn't sound like my idea of a romantic read! I imagine I would appreciate it more if they were friends instead as well. The important thing for me is that the serious subject matter is handled well so it's good to hear that it was. It's good to hear that this was a fairly solid read overall - I may want to think about reading it sometime as I think it would help diversify my reading.

  5. The title made me think that this was going to be a book about a really terrible but funny person, but your review makes it sound like another contemporary romance. No thanks.

  6. I do like how the book has a hopeful tone, especially with the subject matter. The romance being a cure little is a little iffy to me too, but I'm glad you liked the book overall!


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