Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga


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TITLE: My Heart and Other Black Holes
AUTHOR: Jasmine Warga
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Family
DATE PUBLISHED: February 10, 2015 by HarperCollins
DATE FINISHED: October 19, 2015

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.

REVIEW*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

My Heart and Other Black Holes is a novel that discusses a sensitive topic, namely depression. It shows the life of Aysel, a teen suffering from it, and how she deals with life while carrying all her anxieties and misfortunes, thinking the only best decision she'll ever make is to commit suicide. She meets Roman in a website with a section called Smooth Passages, and they agree to die together as suicide partners on July 7th.

I was looking forward to read this book because it centers on a topic that's hard to write, since novels about depression need to be written the way we can relate with. I just wanted to see if the book was any good, not just some typical depression novel that was written just to attain profit. And to be honest, this book was quite good. The way it describes depression may not be that perfect, but generally, it captures how it feels really well.

"Depression is like the 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. If I know anything about it, this is what I know: It's impossible to escape."

Although I liked reading the first few chapters, I found myself quick-reading at the middle, and that's not good. (If I quick-read a book, it means I'm too bored to really digest the sentences I'm reading and I'm just waiting for something to happen and catch my interest.) I didn't really feel any special climax in the story until the time when Roman went missing and was found unconscious in their garage. And even that part was already a few chapters to the end. I guess I was expecting more than that. Everything else felt like I was just reading a normal (or maybe not that normal) life of a depressed girl and te tt life.

Also, the way Aysel realized that life's better than she thought it was and how she realized that she's actually in love with Roman was so normal and cliché that I didn't feel that much into it.

I also wanted to read about the time Aysel finally meets her father after such a long time, or if she really does get to meet him. Her dad as given so much attention and importance in the novel that I was expecting to read that sort of scene. But no, I unfortunately didn't.

Overall, I'm rating this book 3.5 stars. I just felt like the book had more potential, given how good it deals with the way depression overpowers a person's life. I'd also recommend this to people who like reading books like The Fault in Our Stars, where the characters who lack something in themselves overcome their struggles at the end.
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Mara @ Mara Was Here

*Pops confetti* Congratulations, you've reached 'till the end of this post! I'm Mara, 15, and I love anything bookish and graphic designing. I also spend 90% of my life fawning over fictional boyfriends and smelling books. Thanks for hanging out at my blog! (And yes, that's me sniffing Six of Crows in our car.)

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