Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Cover image from Goodreads

Cover image from Goodreads

My Heart and Other Black Holes

Jasmine Warga

Hodder, 2015

Aysel and Roman met in an unlikely way – they are suicide partners. They connected through a website called Smooth Passages; their aim is to ensure each other goes through with the jump. Aysel is living in the shadow of her father’s horrific crime, afraid the same darkness lives within her. Deeply depressed, she can’t bear to go on. Roman is wracked with guilt about his little sister’s death, and sees suicide as the only solution. Neither wants a flake as their partner, but as they get to know each other better Aysel becomes less determined to go through with the plan…

Jasmine Warga’s debut novel is an emotional and powerful read. Aysel and Roman are strong characters – both flawed and in many ways broken, but also both very likeable. Aysel is passionate about physics. Roman is a talented artist. The connection between them is brilliant, as Roman says, they have chemistry. The minor characters in the book are also memorable, and the family dynamics are believable. There are some very emotional scenes as the characters (and the readers) realise what they will be leaving behind.

The novel is told from Aysel’s point of view, and her descriptions of her sadness are absolutely heart wrenching: ‘Sometimes I wonder if my heart is like a black hole – it’s so dense that there’s no room for light, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still suck me in.’ She describes her depression as a black slug in her stomach, weighing her down and eating up all her feelings. This is an important read. It gives an insight into depression, and emphasises that ‘there is nothing beautiful or glamorous or endearing about sadness.’

This is a striking debut, which I would highly recommend. It is one of the most moving books I have read, definitely a new favourite. I am looking forward to reading Jasmine Warga’s next book.

Originally reviewed for LoveReading.

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