Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes

Author: Jasmine Warga
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Page Length: 320 pages
Publication Date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Bought
Goodreads
A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

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.

I very rarely take up books about mental health. They bring back some bitter memories for me, so I have been keeping away from them even though I am a huge supporter of that genre. But, for some reason, one day, I felt like I should face certain things without holding up, which made me take up My Heart and Other Black Holes finally, and I am so glad for that decision as this beautiful story made me feel so many emotions and go through a heart wrenching experience.

“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.” 

My Heart and Other Black Holes is the story of Aysel - a girl who wants to die. Born to a father who's a murder convict, a mother who has made another family, where Aysel feels like an outsider, living in a town which has her under close scrutiny, always looking for the moment when she'll snap and reveal her father's genes inside her, Aysel's life is hell, and she thinks that suicide is the only option. Then enters Roman - a guy with the same motive, and is looking for a suicide partner, in case he chickens out at the last moment. They fix a date, a place and a method, and with a clock striking over their head, discovers that their lives, are after all, worth living.

I connected to this book in a really deep level. As a teen who once went through depression, and felt like her life is worthless, and wanted to terminate her life, I understood and related to Aysel's story and her feelings. In fact, I relived my own pre teen life when I read this book, which I expected would be hard, but instead was oddly soothing, because when I reached the end of the book, I felt proud, happy and triumphant about Aysel's decision to live, just like my own a few years back.

“Depression is like a heaviness that you can’t ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and your blood.” 

Aysel was a beautiful character. She was Turkish, a misfit and was utterly miserable, which made me want to hug her tightly and say that I know what she feels like. But Aysel was also strong. Despite taking a decision to end her life, she was brave enough to live. To face the cruelty and bitterness which is continually thrown at her, and more than that, the inner turmoil within her. She was a terrific character and an amazing human being!

“I will be stronger than my sadness.” 

Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same way about Roman. I just never got the appeal of his character. He was just too moody for my taste. Maybe Aysel outshone him, I guess, but overall, he was not at all a memorable character. Which made the romance not so remarkable as well. I actually wished at a point that there was no romance in this book, which is a huge thing for a romance addict like me. The thing is, the romance felt forced. I felt like this book was Aysel's story, her trials and her victory, and it would have been just fine if the romance had no place in that journey.

Further more, a problem I had in the book is that by the end, it felt incomplete. I wanted more, I needed answers, and I had to know about certain things. There were a lot of incidents in the book which started but never ended. While I am always up for an open ending, this book left too many questions unanswered. I wanted to see the outcome of Aysel and Tyler's project, I wanted their relationship to grow after their short, awkward yet beautiful interactions, I wanted to see Aysel patch up with her family - especially her half sister and most of all, I wanted to see that meeting with her father! My heart and other black holes left me wanting a lot more than what the ending gave me.

But still, I'll continue to love the book for the sheer amount of feels it gave me! I was sobbing so hard throughout Aysel's journey and in the end, the book gave me such satisfaction and relief. How beautiful is it to revisit bitter memories - whether you experienced them or not - because they make you feel proud of who you are now. This is exactly what happened to me with this book.

“Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there's nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression.” 

I'll definitely recommend this book to any realistic fiction fans, and those who love to see portrayal of mental health in their reads, Just don't expect much from the romance or the love interest, but I guarantee that Aysel's beautiful character makes up to it in the end!

“Sometimes I wonder if my heart is like a black hole--it's so dense that there's no room for light, but that doesn't mean it can't still suck me in.” 


Mishma is a 16 year old teenager from Sri Lanka who's always loved books and talking about them. She often comes off as a loud, outgoing, funny, hyperactive and happy go lucky girl! Her addictions include books, Twitter and Buzzfeed and she has an unapologetic love for classic old movies with uncensored violence and villains with a vulnerable side.

You can find her at her own blogTwitterInstagram. She loves making friends, so stop by to say a hi!

15 comments:

  1. This sounds like an amazing book. Wonderful review and I can't wait to read it.

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  2. This book has been sitting on my shelf for some time now. I know it's a lovely read but I'm not sure as to why I haven't picked it up. Mental health books are something I really enjoy to read about and it makes me happy that it was done well :)

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  3. Oh, I read this earlier this year and really liked it! I thought Aysel was suuuuuch a great character. Yeah, I completely understand what you mean by rarely taking up mental illness books--because I'm exactly the same. Some of it just hits way too close to home! But in saying that, it's so brilliant to see books like this in YA. Great review!

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  4. Mishma, your reviews always make me want to pick the book up right away and say eff it to all the other books I have to read. This one sounds WONDERFUL and thank you for sharing your struggles with depression with us.

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

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  5. I really liked this one too Mishma! It kind of reminded me of All the Bright Places, but in a good way, you know? So glad that you liked it so much. :) Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

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  6. Aww I loved your review, Mishma. You've made me want to read this so bad! I'm sad to hear the romance was forced - but I think overall it sounds like a terrific book. I too went through bouts of depression, and it can be scary facing those memories. I'm glad you were able to take some relief from the book, it's always wonderful when that happens. Thank you for sharing, lovely <3

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  7. Oh Mishma. I'm really glad I read this review because I feel the same way about mental health issue books! I just can't read them - NOT that I don't support them/their authors! I'm glad you enjoed this book! It's great that you connected with Aysel so much, even if Roman didn't have the same spark. Sounds like this book really worked for you! Lovely review, Mishma. :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  8. I thought this was a really beautiful book, but I do agree with you that there were a couple of things left unanswered. I also thought the resolution was almost too easy. Great review!

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  9. I have an audio copy of this one, and I really hope to listen to it soon. Mental health books are always a bit difficult to read, so I just have to be in the right frame of mind first. :) Glad you enjoyed this one! Great review, sweets!

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  10. I'm like that too, I have bad anxiety and I can't really read books with heavy topics or such as it makes me worry, as I'm quite a sensitive reader! Thank you for sharing with us and I'm really happy that this book soothed you. That's what I love about books, it makes you realise you're not alone! :)

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  11. I've been staying away from this book for the same reason but one of my close friends recently recommended it to me and after reading this review, I think I'll have to go and pick it up! I love the way you described how this story, rather than bringing up painful thoughts and memories, instead soothed you. I agree with Bookaholic, it sounds like this was precisely the type of book to make readers realize they aren't alone!

    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader!

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  12. I've been wanting to read this book for quite some while now but have been unsure whether I'd enjoy it - I'm feeling pretty convinced after reading your review now! Thanks for sharing, Mishma <33

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  13. I've never really been sure on this one. On the one hand, it seems like a beautiful book, and reviews like yours have definitely sung its praises; but on the other, I usually tend to stay away from books about Mental Illness, just because they're done so badly usually. I'll have to have another think about this one though, because it seems amazing! I'm pretty convinced I'll enjoy it now.

    Great review, Mishma! Thanks for sharing :)
    Denise | The Bibliolater

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  14. This sounds like such an amazing book! And I think I might be able to connect with the character. And such a beautiful review, Mishma. I do agree though that there shouldn't be any romance, because this book feels like it's Aysel's story to tell. Amazing review :)

    Maryam @ Once Upon A Story

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  15. Ever since I read the title of this novel I have been incredibly keen on trying it out for myself, but just have never gotten to that point yet. I am hoping I will be able to read it very soon. I do read a lot of books about mental health and this one has a deep appeal and sounds like the story is very meaningful as well.

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