I still struggle a bit for words when it comes to Jasmine Warga‘s My Heart and Other Black Holes. Before buying the book, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I was worried I might not like it because of the hype that surrounds the book. Man, am I glad that was not the case! This review includes minor Spoilers!
My Heart and Other Black Holes revolves around 16-year-old physics nerd Aysel, who wants nothing more than to die. Yet, Aysel is afraid she won’t be able to do it on her own, so she searches the interwebs for a suicide partner. Coincidentally, a sporty and popular boy from a neighboring town, very much the opposite of her, is in a similar situation. Together they decide to help each other die, but in truth their relationship could change everything.
I guess my summary isn’t as perfect as the one on goodreads, but it’s succinct just the way I like it. So, where do I begin now? It’s such a smart, special, weird, insightful, sad but hopeful read. I went through it all rather quickly, even though the story had me close to tears several times. Never did I expect a book about potential suicide to harbour so much hope! It’s rare to find a person who truly and completely gets you and not just the good parts, but genuinely everything – Aysel and Roman seem to have had real luck in that department.
Depression is a serious topic and should not be treated lightly. Jasmine Warga manages this all extremely well in her debut novel. I cared and understood the characters from beginning ’til end and I like that she had such an easy style of writing. It was very much like people think and talk. Aysel had such an odd mix of a vivid, heartbreaking and at times hilarious voice and that made the heavy topic more relatable and bearable. Also, I really enjoyed her inclusion of poetry (such as John Milton‘s Paradise Lost) as well as Einstein‘s Theory of Relativity. It gave those sources new meaning as well.
If I had to complain about something, and this is seriously a minor “issue”, I think that I would have liked it a bit better if Aysel and Roman hadn’t fallen in love but rather just stayed friends. It’s not really bothering me and it definitely doesn’t hurt the story, but I just feel like it’s important to know that you can get out of a depression like that with the help of friends and not just finding true love.
Fazit: very authentic and heartbreaking story with a happy ending!
I’d love to read some more of Jasmine Warga in the future. I can imagine great things coming from her!