Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!
Between this and All the Bright Places, I’m not sure which made me ugly cry more. My Heart and Other Black Holes is such a brutally honest and very truthful read. A lot of people told me they read it in one sitting, but I… couldn’t do that. This was a rough read for me in so many ways, perhaps because it hit a bit too close of comfort in some case, or that when I was Aysel’s age, I got a lot of where she was coming from. I literally could only read bits at a time, not because the book was bad, but more because it’s very realistic and the issues Warga discusses are something that aren’t meant to be easily devoured.
Warga’s debut is a tough read, and an ever tougher book to swallow. She shies away from nothing in this story, and looks at a very real situation. This book is incredibly dark, yet if offers so many little glimpses of hope. Aysel’s story in regards to her relationship with her father and Roman’s relationship with Maddie, the way in which the characters question their self-worth — it’s horrific and heartbreaking.
I admit, towards the end I found myself unable to stop the tears from coming because I felt like I understood them. I understood. their suffering, their need for help, and the way in which both Aysel and Roman strangely feed, yet rebuild each other. There’s so much going on in this novel, and everything about it is tightly written, nothing feeling forced or out of place.
It’s difficult for me to explain why I think people should read My Heart and Other Black Holes. It’s on a tough topic, it will depress the crap out of you, and yet the silver lining really is worth getting to. This seems to be the year where suicide novels are becoming much more predominate, and with good reason. I loved this novel, and I feel like if you can make it through it, difficult subject matter, beautiful prose and all, there’s a lot to adore with what’s inside.