Friday, September 18, 2015

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

Author: Jasmine Warga
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Pages: 302
Format: E-book
Published: February, 2015
Price: $10.99 -> Rp158.366 (Amazon)
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Date started: September 7, 2015 - Date finished: September 9, 2015

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: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) 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. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.
Can you imagine a life of being ostracized? Well, that's Aysel's life to you. Because of what her father did in the past, Aysel is infamously famous as "the daughter of the guy who killed the town celebrity." Ever since her father's incident people look at Aysel differently. Her high school peers don't want to hang around her, she started distancing herself from her friends that leads to her becoming a loner. Aysel has decided that she doesn't want to continue living this way, she has decided to commit suicide. What's the harm of it anyway? She thinks nobody will miss the daughter of a murderer with a psychotic issue.

The one thing that Aysel is afraid of is flaking out at the last minute if she did it all by herself. So, she went on several suicide websites and found the "Suicide Partners" section, which basically means a partner that'll make sure that you and his/herself commit the suicide as planned. In this section she found a user who's nearby, which is FrozenRobot (or Roman in real life). When they met for the first time and got to know each other it was all platonic, just business but then they got to know each other and kind of felt this sense of care towards each other. This feeling was felt more by Aysel. She felt that Roman is able to bring out the light inside her dark soul and fill the void in her heart.
“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.”
Such a great book about depression. The book is beautifully written. Jasmine Warga really did a great job at creating the characters of this book. Aysel for instance, as she is the main character and the story is told from her perspective. When I read this book I can feel how Aysel feel being seen differently, being seen as the freak by people. I really felt for her and symphatize for her. But what I like most about her character is that she's not weak. Roman is also a great character, he fits in perfectly with Aysel. He's the kind of guy who's able to support Aysel and he's not judgmental about Aysel's background.

The chapters in the story was written as a countdown towards the day of their suicide, which kind of reminds me of Looking for Alaska that was written kind of like that. It's nice to see how the story progressed at a perfect pace from Aysel finding her suicide partner, the suicide planning, the development of Aysel and Roman's relationship none of those things seemed too fast or too slow.
“I once read in my physics book that the universe begs to be observed, that energy travels and transfers when people pay attention. Maybe that's what love really boils down to--having someone who cares enough to pay attention so that you're encouraged to travel and transfer, to make your potential energy spark into kinetic energy.”
This book is such a gem in the sense that we (as someone who has never experienced depression) can get a glimpse of how a lot of people had to deal with this kind of thing in their life. We get to understand how depressed people feel inside. They put on a good face like everything's peachy but inside they're hurting. Another thing that I've learned is that we shouldn't judge a person just by an action that someone related to that person has done. Seeing Aysel got treated the way she was treated in this book just because of what his father did was not ok. Nobody should have to go through that. It's awful.
“Life can seem awful and unfixable until the universe shifts a little and the observation point is altered, and then suddenly, everything seems more bearable.”
“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.”
I understand that this book was written after the death of one of Jasmine Warga's friends and that she wants this book to be as a message to the readers that everyone need a support system to help them get through hard times cause we'll never know what people feel inside unless they tell them about it to us. My only problem with this book is about the physics aspects of this book. I don't know why but for me it seemed like the physics aspects was kind of shoved into the book forcefully.

If you guys want to read a book about the depression and suicide then you definitely should pick this book up! It won't disappoint.

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