My Heart and Other Black Holes

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My Heart and Other Black Holes
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 10, 2015
ISBN
9780062324672
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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.

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.6
Plot 
 
4.7  (3)
Characters 
 
4.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.3  (3)
A hopeful yet heartbreaking story that left me breathless
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This book has been on my TBR for ages and ages – ever since it was released it has been looking at me, patiently, from my overcrowded bookshelf. Today I finally found the courage to pick up the book. It handles such a dark subject, I was afraid it would be too heavy to read, too personal, but in the end, I think the books offers a very unique perspective that, will give the reader hope. But be warned, I do not recommend anybody to read this novel in a public place.

After reading the blurb, I knew this was a book that I would HAVE to read, no matter what. This book would belong to my obsession with mental health books for young adults. It’s not only an obsession, but also a fear. Luckily, this book lived up to its expectations, and left me breathless on a grey Monday evening.

Aysel, from the beginning, mesmerized me. She kept telling herself how much she wanted to die, but honestly, she didn’t. I knew from the beginning she wouldn’t go through with her plan. And that’s probably the only reason I kept reading. I knew I wanted to find out what it was that would change her mindset – her changing point. I felt so sorry for her, for what happened, and I honestly couldn’t believe how mean everybody was to her. Sure, her dad is a maniac, but why be an ass to Aysel? She was afraid of herself, the part of her that might resemble her father, his craziness, and thus had to kill herself to save everybody around her. I felt so sorry for her. I was heartbroken. At the beginning of the book, every single chapter ended with a passage that depicted how much better the world would be off without her. And that’s the thing. When you’re suicidal, you believe that single voice that keeps saying that, over and over again, filling you with sadness, making you believe that killing yourself is the only way out. The only way to save everybody from yourself – except maybe yourself. And Aysel embodied that feeling so well. Aysel felt so real.

After meeting Roman, cracks in her facade started to appear. Did she really wanted to die? Did she really wanted to jump off of that bridge, to end her life together with her ‘suicide-partner’? Or was it just planning it, thinking about it, talking about it, that made suicide feel so attractive? To her, I think maybe she would’ve gone through with it, if she’d met someone else. Maybe. But not with Roman. He made her feel human again. He made her see that the black hole inside of her is not all that is her. Somehow, he made her see there’s hope for her. But… not for him.

Achingly, I watched their partnership, turn into a friendship and finally turn into love. I was scared for Aysel to say the wrong thing to Roman and screw everything up. Roman was a ticking time bomb, and like Aysel said, she was just buying time. Their plan was to die together, but in the end, they both betrayed each other.

The story line of the novel is very well balanced. You will follow Aysel and Roman over a couple of weeks, and their relationship is growing very naturally. Not forced, not cheesy, but in a good way. You could see the dilemma forming inside of Aysel. Loving him and her desire to commit suicide together. What was even harder to watch, was Roman being so much more determined to do the thing. He was running towards his end with a lethal speed, Aysel barely keeping up with him. You will finish this book in one single read, no doubt. The pace is everything you want and more. You get details, but not too much. You get action, but not too much. You will get a lot of sadness, really dark, deep sadness. But in return you will get heartwarming scenes and humorous passages that makes you want to forget this book is about two suicidal teenagers, trying to commit suicide together.

As for the writing style, I think it was real and raw, yet poetic whenever you needed it. I love the use of physics in the novel. As a nerd myself, I loved reading about Aysel turning E=MC^2 into a story about love, friendship and life itself.

This book will probably cause you to feel like you have a black hole inside your chest yourself. This is the kind of book that will leave you breathless, feeling as if you will never be able to pick up another book ever again. If you love John Green, you will love this book. “My Heart and Other Black Holes” is one of the best books I’ve read for a while.
Good Points
- lovely characters
- raw and real
- cannot put it down
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It Is A Four Letter Word
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
YA Contemporary Romance, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES isn't the easiest story to read. Suicide isn't an easy topic, and when I think about it, my mother's old words come into mind. "Just shake it off," she would say to me. "Go out and walk in the park. Realize that there is more out there in the world than the heavy hole in your heart. There are children starving, and they would rather be in your shoes." But the problem is that depression is the world of the depressed. Your world, his world, her world, their world. It strikes into the hearts without mercy, and it carries a lot of weight. It forces out a lot of tears. One day, it is a nagging feeling at the bottom of the stomach. The next, a black hole in the heart.

The narrator, Aysel is a girl who is easy to empathize with. She has a family, who doesn't really care for her. She has an insane father, who does care for her but is in jail for murder. She is an outsider in her town because of her father, and she is given nasty words from everyone. Brilliant in science, Aysel has many theories of energy. One of her morbid questions is this: Where would energy go after we die? (Not an exact quote, however.) She possesses many dark thoughts, and she has a well-fitting name for depression: The slug.

Roman (username: FrozenRobot), suffering from grief over the accidental death of his younger sister, plans to die on April 7. That is the exact same day his younger sister died. He and Aysel develop a sweet and wonderful bond together. The more time they spend together, the more Aysel wants to live, the more Roman wants to disappear forever. Her hope is stunning, but it is faced against Roman's sadness.

The writing style is easy to understand, the descriptions are excellent, and the plot goes by super-fast. There are some parts where logic doesn't make sense (ex: "one plus one equals eight" logic), but the emotional parts of the book make up for it. Like what has been said before, it is simple to understand My Heart and Other Black Holes.

The ending is of hope, of potential energy, which is perhaps one of the most beautiful and heartfelt endings the author can give.

Overall, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES is a story where light and dark are constantly at war against each other. It has two great characters, who share a wonderful though also morbid and deathly connection. It has internal journey. It has issues. It has complexity. MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES, which is an awesome and extraordinary title, is best recommended to those who want to see a little bit of hope and more hope.

Rating: Four out of Five

Source: Library
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A thoughtful, honest story of loneliness, heartache, and hope
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Suicide isn’t a topic most people like to discuss. It’s upsetting and sad, and I doubt the majority of folks want to believe that it’s a subject they’ll ever have to deal with personally. Of course, they think, if they ever need to talk about it, they will. They will get a suicidal person the help they need, and they will be supportive, and they will show their loved one that they are not alone.

The problem with that sort of thinking, unfortunately, is depression and suicidal thoughts are not visible to the naked eye. They isolate and tear down, whispering to the depressed person that they are alone in their struggle, and sometimes the people who love them don’t see the signs until it is too late.

MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES tackles this difficult conundrum. Aysel (pronounced Uh-zel) is a 16-year-old girl living each day in tremendous doubt and fear after a horrific incident that turned her life upside down and inside out. Roman is a 17-year-old boy wracked with suffocating guilt over a terrible tragedy that he feels was his fault. Both of them consider the cold end of death far more appealing than the certain pain of continuing their lives. Both of them know they can’t take the plunge into that dark unknown without a little nudge.

Both of them feel completely, devastatingly, alone.

But in that loneliness, they find common ground. And on that ground, using the pieces of their shattered lives, they start to build.

MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES takes a thoughtful, honest approach to depression and suicidal thoughts. Aysel’s pain is very real and raw, and there are no easy answers for her. She sees the world through a jagged, fragmented lens that twists everything into ugly and hateful shapes. But even as she longs to escape her life, she has fears and uncertainties about what taking her own life means. And when she looks at Roman — a boy who is good looking, popular, athletic, and loved by his parents — she sees so many reasons to live that she can’t see for herself.

I’ll admit, parts of this story were hard for me to read. Any time Aysel had to interact with Roman’s parents and felt guilt over what his death would do to them, I was gutted. And when the tragedies in each of their lives are revealed, it was achingly clear that should Roman and Aysel decide to live, their journeys will not be without pain and heartache and the kind of healing that can hurt worse than bleeding. This is not a story with easy answers or simple anything, and it felt all the more real for it. As the Author’s Note at the end of the book states, recovery is not a switch flipping, but a daily battle that some people fight their whole lives.

But despite the pain and loneliness and bitter heartbreak in Aysel and Roman’s lives, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES is not a bleak book about death, but a story about hope. It takes two broken, hurting people and shows us that even at our darkest, we can be someone’s light. Even at our weakest, we can find strength. And even the loneliest of us can provide support to someone who may desperately need it.
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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.7  (3)
Characters 
 
4.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.7  (3)
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Horribly, Beautiful
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
MY THOUGHTS
This was such a beautiful and brilliant book that I easily finished in one night!

Aysel currently lives with her mother and stepfamily in a depression. She has a mediocre job, she feels like her stepfamily doesn't want her there, her mother doesn't seem to care for her, and everyone judges her for what her father did to end up in jail. Aysel wants to commit suicide. She's been constantly planning her death and has been using the website Smooth Passages for ideas. The website has a thing called Suicide Partners where two people partner up and commit suicide together. This has never interested Aysel until a user called FrozenRobot asks for a partner and happens to live nearby. He only asks that they commit suicide on a specific day.

What I really love about this book is how realistic and relatable it is. I love how many books about suicide are coming out! That sounds bad, but suicide is, sadly, a very often occurrence and we need these books! I myself have thought about suicide before, many people have, and books like these do help. This book also showed depression very realistically. I could feel the characters' depression seeping off the pages and I was able to be fully immersed into how they felt and way they would want to end their lives.

This book also has so much beauty in it. Aysel and Roman (FrozenRobert) become close to each other during their time waiting for 'the end' and they eventually tell each other why they decided to do this. Aysel begins to actually care for Roman and her odd friendship actually helps her out of her depression. Even more, she doesn't want Roman to go through with it. It's so beautiful seeing the change in Aysel and seeing her slowly start to recover from her depression.

Also, this book is not a romance. I guess you can say that there is a bit of a romance, but that's not the point of the book. This book is about so much more!


IN CONCLUSION
Really, this book has so many layers within it. It's about depression, but it's also about relationships and family becomes especially important. This book was horribly, beautiful and I strongly recommend this book to anyone!
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An amazing read
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. Her mother can barely look at her, her classmates don’t talk to her, her father is in jail for a crime that shook the town. But Aysel knows she’ll never have the courage to go through with her plan alone. She discovers a website with a Suicide Partners section and it seems like the perfect solution. She finds Roman, another teenager who’s haunted by a family tragedy and who’s looking for a partner. It seems perfect. But as the day they agreed upon creeps closer, Aysel is starting to have doubts even as Roman’s resolve has never faltered.

This book shook me as I was reading it. The descriptions of depression, of guilt, of hopelessness, all of it was so hard to read but also very realistic. Knowing that the book was about two teens with a suicide pact, I expected it to be emotional and devastating but I was surprised that the scenes that got to me the most were the happier ones, especially the ones where Aysel didn’t want to ruin things for the others with her depression.

Aysel was such a fantastic character. Definitely one of my favourites. It was impossible not to feel for her. She had so much potential in her, she could be funny and sarcastic, she was smart, she had a love of physics that had even me smiling at the references. This was a girl who could do great things with her life if given the chance but she saw no future for herself. It was sad but also very real.

I also felt a connection to Roman, especially after learning the events of his family tragedy. It was something I could picture easily happening to any family and I could understand the guilt he was carrying around.

There was something very touching and beautiful but so sad about these two characters, who would be so perfect together, only finding each other because they wanted to end their lives, and the way that they saw each other. When Aysel started to question herself and have doubts, I found myself holding my breath. I wanted a happy ending for these two so badly but I was preparing myself for a heartbreak.

The heavy subject matter was handled very sensitively, which was nice to see. The descriptions of how Aysel felt, her struggles with depression, they were so hard to read because they were realistic. There was no sugarcoating the emotions. I felt like this would be a good book to read in high school as there were so many topics one could choose from to write essays, but also just in general because there’s such a stigma associated with mental illness.

I ended up reading this book in a day because I just couldn’t stop reading.
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An amazing read
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. Her mother can barely look at her, her classmates don't talk to her, her father is in jail for a crime that shook the town. But Aysel knows she'll never have the courage to go through with her plan alone. She discovers a website with a Suicide Partners section and it seems like the perfect solution. She finds Roman, another teenager who's haunted by a family tragedy and who's looking for a partner. It seems perfect. But as the day they agreed upon creeps closer, Aysel is starting to have doubts even as Roman's resolve has never faltered.

This book shook me as I was reading it. The descriptions of depression, of guilt, of hopelessness, all of it was so hard to read but also very realistic. Knowing that the book was about two teens with a suicide pact, I expected it to be emotional and devastating but I was surprised that the scenes that got to me the most were the happier ones, especially the ones where Aysel didn't want to ruin things for the others with her depression.

Aysel was such a fantastic character. Definitely one of my favourites. It was impossible not to feel for her. She had so much potential in her, she could be funny and sarcastic, she was smart, she had a love of physics that had even me smiling at the references. This was a girl who could do great things with her life if given the chance but she saw no future for herself. It was sad but also very real.

I also felt a connection to Roman, especially after learning the events of his family tragedy. It was something I could picture easily happening to any family and I could understand the guilt he was carrying around.

There was something very touching and beautiful but so sad about these two characters, who would be so perfect together, only finding each other because they wanted to end their lives, and the way that they saw each other. When Aysel started to question herself and have doubts, I found myself holding my breath. I wanted a happy ending for these two so badly but I was preparing myself for a heartbreak.

The heavy subject matter was handled very sensitively, which was nice to see. The descriptions of how Aysel felt, her struggles with depression, they were so hard to read because they were realistic. There was no sugarcoating the emotions. I felt like this would be a good book to read in high school as there were so many topics one could choose from to write essays, but also just in general because there's such a stigma associated with mental illness.

I ended up reading this book in a day because I just couldn't stop reading.
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