- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray; First Edition edition (February 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062324675
- ISBN-13: 978-0062324672
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 211 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Heart and Other Black Holes Hardcover – February 10, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Aysel Seran suffers from severe depression and is haunted by and ostracized on account of an act of violence that her father committed three years ago. She and the "black slug" inside her are convinced that suicide is her best and most sensible option. Although she doesn't interact much with other people, concern about her latent self-preservation instincts leads her to partner up with Roman, another suicidal teen from the next town over. As they plan their suicide pact, however, her doubts begin to increase. Warga's debut, written (according to the author's note) after the loss of a close friend, often feels heavy-handed, especially when using physics (Aysel's a nerd and Warga has worked as a science teacher) as an emotional metaphor. Overall, the book addresses serious issues with complexity and humor, and allows the overlapping situational and chemical causes of the characters' depression and isolation to coexist in a very real and murky way. Aysel is a tough but likable character, at once jaded and appealingly naive. She's also Turkish, a daughter of immigrants in a largely white, small Kentucky town, a circumstance that the author presents without making it the focus of the narrative. The other characters are less developed, even Roman, who falls a little flat, but all are thoughtfully presented. A list of suicide and depression resources are appended.—Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library
“At times poignant, bitter, and funny, this narrative captures [a] unique voice that questions what it means to die-and to live.” (Booklist (starred review))
“My Heart and Other Black Holes is alive with intensity, gut-wrenching honesty, moments of humor, and-of course-heart. This is an extraordinary debut by a striking new voice in YA fiction that left me in awe and moved beyond measure. Not to be missed.” (Nova Ren Suma, author of IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE)
“With high intelligence and a massiveness of heart, Warga gifts us with a novel that has the music of Mozart, the logic of advanced physics, and the vision to see the link between them. This is something utterly new, a book that is kinetic and beautiful and unexpectedly life-affirming.” (Chris Lynch, National Book Award Finalist for Inexcusable and Michael L. Printz Honor-winner for Freewill)
“[The book] addresses serious issues with complexity and humor . . . thoughtfully presented.” (School Library Journal)
“Earnest and heartfelt . . . any teen who’s ever felt like an outsider will be able to relate to Aysel’s and Roman’s fully realized characters.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Debut novelist Warga addresses adolescent depression and suicide with honesty and grace” (Publishers Weekly)
“Debut author Warga unflinchingly tackles the grim subject matter with empathy, sensitivity, and honesty, without trivializing her protagonists’ disturbing thoughts or emotions . . . [with an] utterly endearing romance.” (The Horn Book)
“Warga delves honestly into the very difficult issues of teenage depression…sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but ultimately filled with hope.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
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Because it will make you cry. It hit me in the details, in places where I least expected it.
Many books have been written about depression. And where some books failed, My Heart and Other Black Holes didn’t. It didn’t come off as dramatic. It wrote depression for what it really is and the harsh reality that comes with it.
“Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there's nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression.”
I have friends who suffer from depression and I worry about them. I know I can never imagine half of what they’re going through but this book gave me a peek at what’s inside.
This is a story about two people who want to die. And is it wrong to say that I understand why they do? Life can sometimes be cruel and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. It hurts to know someone is suffering and no matter how much you want to make things better for them, you can’t.
What I loved most about this book are Aysel and Roman. Sure, they are not the most like-able characters but they were written in such a way that you will accept them for who they are. No pretensions, just their real selves and it isn’t always pretty. And that’s okay.
This is not a love story. There is no romance here, only love and hope. This is about finding people who understand you and accepts you as you are. This is about fighting even when you no longer want to. This is about finding reasons to live. And I hope you do. I hope every single day, you do.
This a 3 that should be a 2.5, but I'm too much of a wimp to do that. Before I even started this book, I was slightly rooting for them to... die. Or, mostly Ronan. I'm not morbid, I just didn't want them both to necessarily survive.
I also believe that something is wrong when all you can do is imagine the leading main character with an 8-year-olds voice.
The story seemed to skip around, and lost the central voice of the story, the main reason Ayzel wanted to commit suicide. The two main characters relationship also sped up very quickly. It went from a 4 to a 9.
This story was like wanting a Snickers but you could only get some Whoppers (the chocolate malt bakey things). If you're easily pacified with quick read (2 hours, tops) then knock yourself out with this book.
The main reason my rating isn't a 2 is because I found it quite realistic. Being around the same age group, I was able to relate to multiple characters. And there you have it. Thanks for reading.
It's difficult to praise the details of the book without giving too much away because the ending really should not be known until you discover it yourself. The subject matter is difficult and even though this book is marketed towards Young Adults, I am not sure I would encourage every young adult to read it. Suicide can not be glamorized or made to be anything less serious than it is. While the author accurately portrayed depression and suicidal thoughts, I feel like a young adult reader COULD (if already dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts) romanticize suicide and depression. Instead of deterring the reader or encouraging them to seek help and guidance, it COULD influence them to glorify their depression/suicidal thoughts. It is so easy to be influenced as a young adult reader.
With that disclaimer, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would read it again as it is a relatively quick and beautifully written, yet easy, read.