My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.”
Sixteen year old Aysel is ready to die. Thrown in the aftermath of her father’s actions, she has been shunned and pulled away from everyone close in her life. An outcast at school and in her own home, Aysel has been spending her time browsing suicide websites where she meets Roman. They make a pact to kill themselves on a specific day, and in order to keep up pretenses for their families, they begin to spend time together.
“You’re like a grey sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.”
I’m not normally one for the teen suicide genre, I find I cannot relate often times and cannot understand the desire to take one’s own life. Imagine my surprise when my heart just bled for Aysel and Roman and each of their situations. Aysel brought my eyes to tears multiple times in the beginning of this book. She was thrust into a horrible life situation very suddenly, the actions of her father ruining her life and the lives of others. She’s shunned by her classmates at school, and she stays away from those trying to be nice to her because she doesn’t want them hurt by association. Her family doesn’t know how to reach her, and at times it seems like they don’t want to.
Roman had an equally horrific reason for wanting to take his own life, one shrouded in guilt I couldn’t even begin to understand. As a romantic interest, he wasn’t my favorite because while he accepted Aysel and didn’t judge her, he also didn’t seem to have her best interests at heart. In fact he was a lot more invested in the pact than he was in a friendship with Aysel.
“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.”
I picked up this book and couldn’t put it back down. Reading this book you wouldn’t think this was a debut novel by this author. I honestly think her books will only continue to get better based on the great quality of this first book. Aysel was my favorite part of this book, I never at any point felt her feelings were unjustified, even if her turn around was fairly quick. This is a young adult novel that I feel will stand the test of time.
“I will be stronger than my sadness.”