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

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“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.”

Because it’s Mental Health Awareness week I wanted to carry on the theme on my blog by writing a review of a book about what it’s like to live with depression. I’ve read a lot of these but there was something about Warga’s novel that really got to me, so much so I’ve recommended it to a lot of friends of mine.

Aysel isn’t a typical teenage girl, nor does she have a normal past. After her father committed a truly violent act that send shockwaves through her town she pulled away, her mother can barely look at her without being reminded of her father, the town stares and so Aysel finds comfort in the only thing can can, physics, but soon even that isn’t enough. She soon decides that this is where it all ends but she can’t do it alone. After searching for someone who won’t flake on a suicide pact she finds Roman, whose perfect life isn’t all it seems.

What I liked about this book is that suicide is not romanticised at all. Both characters really are at a point where they can’t see a way out of the misery of their situations and they don’t instantly like each other either. The thing with depression is when you meet someone else who is living through it there is a sense of understanding and that really comes through between the characters. They have nothing in common apart from their depression and that they want to die. It sounds incredibly sad, and it is, but there is also something incredible in the way they progress as friends.

I also found the situations that Warga put the characters in really interesting. Aysel’s father has committed a terrible crime and when we hear about such events in real life we instantly think of the victim and their family (and rightly so), but this made me wonder about the children of criminals. How the actions of their parents influences their lives. It’s not something I’ve encountered in YA literature before and I’d definitely love to read more on it.

This would be perfect for fans of John Green, those who liked All the Bright Places (I liked this more) and It’s Kind of a Funny Story it is a sad book but I think it’s a really important one in understanding why people want to commit suicide as I mentioned yesterday.

I gave this book four stars ****. This is an incredibly well written YA novel and deals with some incredibly tough issues in an amazing way. Warga has a true talent for YA literature and I can’t wait to read and review her next novel which according to Goodreads will be released next year!

Review by Chloe Metzger

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