My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black Holes

by Jasmine Warga


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A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

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—Roman, a teenage boy 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062324689
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/31/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 66,094
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jasmine Warga's debut middle grade book, Other Words for Home, is a Newbery Honor Book. She is the author of the novels for teens My Heart and Other Black Holes, which has been translated into over twenty languages, and Here We Are Now. She lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can visit Jasmine online at

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My Heart and Other Black Holes 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had really high expectations for this title, I was excited to read it, and being honest, it didn't let me down, it was everything I had expected. Having depression is not easy, and the author portraits this illness the way it is. I connected with the characters and the story, it made me think a lot, it made me have a little more hope. I can't really explain how much I loved this book. Read it, give it a chance, you won't regret it.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
When I first read this book I read it over Thanksgiving break. During this time I was already thinking about all the things I was most thankful for. Reading this intensified those feelings. It made everything I was thankful for seem about 50x's more important to me. I'm so thankful for the family and friends (both bookish and non) that I have in my life. Because I've realized that having even only one person in your life to show you that you matter can make all the difference.  "Depression is like a heaviness that you can't ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like trying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it's in your blood. If I know anything about it, this is what I know. It's impossible to escape..'" pg. 14 (ARC)      Aysel wants to die and she's spent the majority of her life planning out the ways she wants to do it. She's not brave enough to go at it alone, so she enlists the help of a website that specializes in suicides. She goes through a part in the website called "Suicide Partners" and enlists the help of a teen boy named Roman. Together they plan their lives until the end.  "Before my father's crime, my mother used to look at me with a combination of love and longing, like I was a morror into her past life, a biittersweet memory. [...] It was almost like I was her permanent bruise. Not a painful brusie, but a tender one made of melancholy memories.'" pg. 20 (ARC)      What hooked me about this book is the writing style. I'm absolutely shocked that this was a debut. There were so many passages that I wrote down or tabbed to remember for later. Warga did an incredible job depicting Asyel and Roman's sadness; she made it feel so real. When the emotions in a book make me feel like the events are really happening, like I feel really heartbroken, that's how I know I've fallen for the book.  "Maybe the sadness come just before the insanity.'" pg. 27 (ARC)      Which is also another reason I loved this one. Her characters were SO believable and realistic. And her descriptions of depression made me connect with them even more. I know someone who battles with depression and Aysel reminded me so much of them. The same actions, thoughts, everything. Because of this I wanted to reach through the book and try to save her by myself. I really felt like I knew her, or at the very least understood.  "What people don't understand is that depression isn't about the outside, it's about the inside. Something inside me is wrong. Sure, there are things in my life that make me feel alone, but nothing makes me feel more isolated and terrified than my own voice in my head.'" pg. 40      Lastly, I was so thankful for their friendship. Regardless of the circumstances, I was so happy they found each other. Because making one friend to someone who feels so lost and alone could mean the world. Them finding each other helped me see a change in one of them and I was glad for even that one small change even if it was insignificant. At least they could have something to do together and neither had to be alone.  "...I'm more scared of what comes next. [...] What if this isn't the end and we just go on to a place even worse than this one? [...] Any place has to be better than this one.'" pg. 99 (ARC)      As real as the emotions and characters were though, I didn't find myself crying until the very end. The ending of the book and the author's note had me in tears. Like "I'm glad this is the end because I'm crying so my eyesight is blurred" tears. But even still, this book was so good. I encourage everyone to read it. It will make you think about what matters the most to you and why it's so important to keep those things surrounding you all the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is both heartbreaking and hopeful. Jasmine Warga captures the weighted, dead-inside feeling of depression and, ultimately, the tiny fragments of hope that can help someone fight through the pain. Aysel’s transition from wanting to commit suicide to wanting to save both herself and Roman is slow and, therefore, realistic. Their relationship slowly reveals to her reasons to stay alive. That Roman does not follow suit is also realistic because he has his own demons to face and having people love you doesn’t make depression go away. This is an intimate, accurate depiction of depression, why some teens consider ending their lives, and what it takes to find hope again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was sort of heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time. Aysel begins to learn that she doesn't want to leave this world, after starting to love Roman. She had the chance to experience happiness, love, or company again when she met Roman. Her environment at home and life made my heart ache. Roman, on the other hand, looks like he's always happy or trying to be. She sees through him and when he starts to hurt, she begins to feel the same way. The chemistry between Roman and Aysel was beautiful. I love both of their names.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I met the author too, she was incredibly nice. This book is an incredibly powerful read, I'd definitely reccomend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
The premise of this book made me a bit uncomfortable at first. Two teens who meet based on a suicide pact. But instead of being a depressing book, this one is engaging and, in its own way, hopeful. Warga does a great job of creating two likeable characters. I was drawn into Aysel's story almost immediately. A hopeful look at clinical depression and the realities those suffering from this illness may face from a young age, My Heart and Other Black Holes, tells the story of a girl who is learning to understand her sadness and to lean on others for help and a boy who is dealing with the deep grief that comes from losing a sibling to epilepsy. A rare find, I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
"He squeezes my hand so tight, I can't feel it anymore. I wish someone would do that to my heart." Truth be told, I haven’t had a great track record with books that deal with suicide. The only ones I’ve read were disappointments. The first was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and somebody over-hyped it for me so much, I just couldn’t enjoy it. The second was Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff, which I DID NOT GET AT ALL. SIGH. And while the description of My Heart and Other Black Holes intrigued me, you could call me a little jaded about books on this topic. Long story short, THIS IS THE BOOK I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. "Sometimes I wonder if gravity is the problem. It keeps us all grounded, giving us this false sense of stability when we're all really just bodies in motion." Aysel Seran (pronounced Uh-zel) cannot live life as the ticking time bomb everyone sees at her as. She can’t bear to live causing pain to the ones she loves or with the whispers of the town people following her around everywhere. She can’t live with herself when she knows the madness can take over, but, most of all, Aysel doesn’t want to sit around waiting to become her father. And so in the town that would rather just see her gone, she finds a website connecting potential suicide partners, and that’s just what Aysel needs. Roman (aka Frozen Robot) is not the kind of person who contemplates suicide. He is popular, a jock and has lovely over-the-top parents. Well, he used to be. Now Roman is haunted by a mistake he made, and one he can never forgive himself for. Aysel and Roman, in a different world, would never have been friends. But in this screwed up world, can two people that want to die, convince each other to live? "I wonder if that's how darkness wins, by convincing us to trap it inside ourselves, instead of emptying it out." I think, the minute I opened the book, the only thing I wanted was for me to FEEL SOMETHING, and the only way to do that is to make it all believable. And in the middle of Jasmine Warga’s masterfully crafted tale, there I was. HOOKED. HOPING. Falling. Believing. Loving. Living. Dying. My Heart and Other Black Holes, despite my slightly jaded attitude towards it, managed to blow me away. It was complicated where it needed to be, deep when the reader needed to understand, poignant in ways that cannot be described and hopeful in the darkest of times. My Heart and Other Black Holes will make you feel everything in the most heart-breaking yet beautiful way possible. GO READ IT. 5 stars.
mcflywithcheese More than 1 year ago
Such a lovely, sad, smart, funny, honest, moving book. Warga handles the subject of depression with care and compassion, and I loved protagonist Aysel--and her voice--from the first page. Highly, highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book-I just can't find the right words to say how FREAKING AMAZING IT IS!!!!!! I could not (literally) put the book down once I started reading it. This book was reccommended to me by the store's clerk-and I would love to do the same... So if you're in doubt about reading this-YOU SHOULD DEFINITALY DO SO!!!!!! Trust me I'm doing you a huuuuge favor :)
Chancie More than 1 year ago
A little slow moving at times and pretty predictable, but worth a read, especially in the case of young teens.
Luci_Mazzella More than 1 year ago
For fans of All The Bright Places who desire a more hopeful tone. Highly recommend.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
It’s bittersweet. I was anxious to read this novel as this title has been posted everywhere and I have been good and haven’t read any postings as I didn’t want to spoil my read. To make a suicide pact, this seemed like a bizarre concept and then to stretch that idea further and commit that act with a total stranger, I couldn’t understand why someone would want to take that additional step? It seemed that Roman has reasons for choosing to end his life and he has everything mapped out except who his partner will be. To advertise yourself on a website, along with other desperate individuals, everyone there reaching out to each other, everyone looking for a friend, someone to carrying them forward, it just seemed so sad. We meet Aysel who I thought was an interesting individual. She is carrying around some baggage and she’s suffering. As she wanders around the website, Smooth Passages she’s looking for partner and she finds Roman. As they connect, suicide is not the only thing the two of them share. I enjoyed the book and the subject matter but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. It just didn’t have the vigor, I was looking for and I thought it could carry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written story about a very painful subject. A must-read for everyone, whether they have experienced depression or know someone who has (which really is everyone). This author has a fresh and honest voice. I hope to read her second book, but she has already made her mark, no matter what may be forthcoming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a page turner from the first page. Jasmine makes it easy to love and understand her characters and the way she unfolds this gripping story will not let you put it won.  This is not only for teens.  Everyone in  book club loved it.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS  This was such a beautiful and brilliant book that I easily finished in one night! Aysel currently lives with her mother and stepfamily in a depression. She has a mediocre job, she feels like her stepfamily doesn't want her there, her mother doesn't seem to care for her, and everyone judges her for what her father did to end up in jail. Aysel wants to commit suicide. She's been constantly planning her death and has been using the website Smooth Passages for ideas. The website has a thing called Suicide Partners where two people partner up and commit suicide together. This has never interested Aysel until a user called FrozenRobot asks for a partner and happens to live nearby. He only asks that they commit suicide on a specific day.  What I really love about this book is how realistic and relatable it is. I love how many books about suicide are coming out! That sounds bad, but suicide is, sadly, a very often occurrence and we need these books! I myself have thought about suicide before, many people have, and books like these do help. This book also showed depression very realistically. I could feel the characters' depression seeping off the pages and I was able to be fully immersed into how they felt and way they would want to end their lives. This book also has so much beauty in it. Aysel and Roman (FrozenRobert) become close to each other during their time waiting for 'the end' and they eventually tell each other why they decided to do this. Aysel begins to actually care for Roman and her odd friendship actually helps her out of her depression. Even more, she doesn't want Roman to go through with it. It's so beautiful seeing the change in Aysel and seeing her slowly start to recover from her depression. Also, this book is not a romance. I guess you can say that there is a bit of a romance, but that's not the point of the book. This book is about so much more! IN CONCLUSION  Really, this book has so many layers within it. It's about depression, but it's also about relationships and family becomes especially important. This book was horribly, beautiful and I strongly recommend this book to anyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was going to make me cry but it is actually okay, it is super reasonable and keeps your feelings in check which I liked. Great writing too.
JNF0616_reader More than 1 year ago
Physics and suicide- who would have thought the two would go so well together. Our heroine is fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
   I wanted to read My Heart and Other Black Holes because the issue of mental illness is one that I struggle with as well. I can relate with either how the character is feeling from times in my life where I have been in a similar state of mind. I think that suicide is so important to talk about instead of letting it be so mysterious. I think that the message that teens-- and anyone really-- getting help is possible, and that the after math for the family is catastrophic. I have been in the position of a daughter losing her dad to suicide as well as my best friend's husband who I was also college friends with taking his life. Both have effected me and I miss them both.       Anyways, Aysel is a genuine and realistic character. The author has either experienced or did deep research because her depression is spot on. She has repetitive thoughts, she is down, and feels like it is something ingrained in her and that she can't fix it. Though her dad was arrested and she is on the outside of the social circles, she has never quite felt like she fit. She wonders if he passed anything to her, if the sadness was just the precursor to insanity and the murderer gene as she thinks of it.          She is worried though that she would chicken out, and doesn't want to be a failed attempt at taking her life, ending up paralyzed or even more isolated than she was before. Which is why she finds a site with forums and one lets you get a suicide partner. I was curious about Roman from the start, and even though they don't even talk online at the beginning of the book, I wanted to know where his depression and tendencies come from.           I aired the friendship that formed between her and Roman. They had a kinship and just accepted the other... weirdness, sadness, complicated pasts and all. Ayzel began to see that happiness can be changed. She was fascinated with physics and began to imagine that she could be great scientist in this life instead of theoretical possibilities. The way Roman saw her and the way she started seeing things from a new perspective . And with the possibility the sadness may not colour every day and experience.        She wanted to help Roman see these things... the possibility, being able to look at guilt and deal with grief and live in a way that can honour bcc what he had lost. While I think that friends and support can be a huge help and motivation, I also appreciated that she realized the desire and drive to overcome or at least battle the sadness and hopelessness was ultimately a personal choice.      The writing was gorgeous and flowed so well. I was flying through the pages and I wanted to know more, get deeper with the characters, find out their choices and how their past would effect them and how to make other choices.         There was a bittersweet but hopeful ending and I appreciated the author note and the realistic way she wrote the story.  Bottom Line: emotional, powerful, realistic with flawed but easy to relate to and pull for characters.
Disquietus More than 1 year ago
I'm so conflicted over this book. So conflicted in fact, that as I sit writing this review days after finishing it, I still haven't settled on a rating. My Heart and Other Black Holes was one of those very rare reads for me where, even though I didn't quite connect with the characters or become as invested in their lives as I normally prefer, I was wholly engaged with the story being told. The novel was very well crafted and the character development is nothing short of masterful, and yet for some reason I never connected emotionally, which hindered my enjoyment. The prose is wonderful. It managed to reflect the bleakness and despair of the characters mindset, while also maintaining an underlying tone of hope and humor. Aysel was a fascinating character and so realistic. She's dealing with a serious depression issue, one she describes as a black slug living in her stomach and sucking away all happiness. She's also terrified that because of her depression she'll someday snap and hurt someone like her father did. She's got a really bleak outlook on life, a fascination with physics and a sassy internal voice that I really appreciated. And then you have Roman. He's dealing with a terrible loss and an impenetrable grief. My heart hurt for him but he also frustrated me to no end. His selfishness, his single-minded viewpoint on things and the way he treats Aysel at times had me so irritated, and yet that frustration was part of the magic of his character development. His behavior, reactions, choices are beautifully realistic. Even when I was irritated with him I knew that anything different would be a disservice to the character and the story being told. As much as I appreciated the character development, I couldn't quite connect with either of them, and I was not a fan of the romance that developed. The story takes place over the span of a month, with Roman entering Aysel's life and changing everything. I absolutely loved their friendship and how the author used it to show the ways that simple human connection with someone who gets it and doesn't judge can change a person's entire perspective, but I thought the romance and I love you's happened way to quickly and didn't jive with the character's personalities. Another of the issues that I struggled with was how little Aysel's mom was involved. It's pretty obvious that Aysel has some problems & is exhibiting classic signs of depression, but rather than show concern and address the issue her mother just ignores her and that really just bothered me. Overall though this was a quick and mostly enjoyable read that I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A_P_Bullard More than 1 year ago
Pre-Read: I’d read a good amount of reviews about this book, and all of them were positive. In fact, one of those reviews (I don’t recall which, or I would link to their blog) got me to purchase the book right away. The cover is really adorable, and the storyline seemed like something I would love and relate to. This seemed like an emotion-packed read, and something I definitely wanted to own. Characters: Aysel is where the issue really was for me. She’s sixteen, but her entire mentality is just really ignorant. I understand that having such a tragic experience in her family could bring about emotional stunting, but she was just written in a way that kind of annoyed me. I love that she is obsessed with physics, and uses physics metaphors to better explain how she views the world. However, she is written in a really flat way. I just couldn’t feel any emotional attachment to her at all. It was unnerving, considering she was the main character. I read of a similar issue in the review on NPR, so I am going to assume that it wasn’t just me. That being said, a lot of her descriptions of depression and guilt were spot-on and beautifully artistic. “I bet if you cut open my stomach, the black slug of depression would slide out. Guidance counselors always love to say, “Just think positively,” but that’s impossible when you have this thing inside of you, strangling every ounce of happiness you can muster. My body is an efficient happy-thought-killing machine.” Roman was a really strong character, and I felt far more emotional attachment to him than I did to Aysel. The grief and guilt that he harbors breaks my heart. He is so caring, and has incredible artistic talent. He wanted to make sure that everything was going to be taken care of – such as his pet turtle – after he was gone. He was very selfless, and didn’t care about himself as much as Aysel did. However, he emphasized why suicide is a selfish act, and I felt that was a really strong point for this book. He should have been the main character, in my opinion. Overall: The romance that blossomed between them was beautifully done, and grew as a result of trust and a shared depression. The book is not as morbid as it sounds (I like morbid, though), and actually has quite a lot of snark and humor. It was fun to read it. There were parts that made me cry (like the ending), and parts that punched me in the gut (Roman’s story). There were parts that made me smile (her half-brother’s birthday), and parts that really annoyed me (her slacking off at work). Overall, though, it was a delightful read and definitely thought-provoking. You WILL cry, though! THE VERDICT: This book has an age – range of 14+, meaning it is very much a YA novel. Were this an adult fiction novel, the mindset and characterizations of Aysel would have been far more problematic for me, in terms of story enjoyment. I did, however, have a problem connecting with her as the main character. She felt really flat to me, though many other people loved her. So, I’m going to assume it was just my own reader’s perspective. I would recommend this novel to anyone in that age range, especially someone who is dealing with depression. The ending is incredibly encouraging and promotes a sense of hope for the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw this book at the store and it at the least piqued my interest. Not just because of its cover but the title and how it captured my eye and made my mouth quirk to the side in amusement simply because i could relate. The cover/title had me enraptured. Until i opened the cover and read the flap summary, i didnt realize exactly how MUCH i could relate I still have not read this book but it definately on my must reads list already. It may not have been a boy i tried to convince to stay alive but i could relate. I will share my story from the start. I fell in love With my best friend After i vowed to myself i wouldnt fall in love with him. Every day was another day i loved and that brought me happiness. When i met him i thought he was one of the typical "i hate school ima lazy rich boy jock that doesnt give a fudge" he was really nice though. And as a reader i yearn to indulge on stories. Especially personal stories with those around you. So i grew close to him and i kinda dreaded liking him. Not because i hated him or anything. I just knew myself enough to realize i was letting my defenses drop. tbh i was clueless about so many things & i was young. I thought everything was fine. I knew he constantly had to go to the doctor I didnt realize he was lying to me about WHY. I didnt know why for a year. Not til a few months ago. We were happy. He was my best friend. I fell in love without realizing it until he liked this girl. Tbch i was jealous & sad. But she was drop dead gorg. I knew i couldnt compete. A few months later he started ignoring me.. i never understood why. Im really annoying. 24/7 if i had to wear a tbh sign it would probably be "sorry i feel like im just annoying you. sorry" All that i knew was his parents were splitting. My parents split when i was younger so i could kinda relate but i was a child and i didnt really have the chance to care or understand what was going on. When he stopped talking to me my world went spiraling out of control He made my days worth living. His leaving me pushed me to depression Constant suicidal thoughts. He still doesnt know. I knew how to act. I acted happy & fine by day but by night i was a wreck. I cried myself to sleep every night & everything reminded me of him. Worst of all my anxiety also skyrocketed I was already self concious & insecure. My first anxiety attack was in first grade but i didnt know that then. Nearing the end of summer i was afraid of facing him again at school. Sports seasons began & i began to meet new people i never spoke to at school. I was still depressed but it wasnt as bad as before. I was numbing & learning to heal but still scarred. i met my next best friend. She was amazing i loved her too. She was a cutter & soon i was up at night scared out of my mind for her. I got scared when she told me she spent a month at the hospital bc she cut a vein but she lied to her mom bout how it happened. somebody told the student director mow she takes therapy & hates it & she still cuts. I love her & we're trying to get better. It isnt an overnight thing But the simple choice of trying harder everyday to overcome our own temptations is a step closer to peace. God has really worked in my life. I still face trials and my anxiety is out of whack but im getting there. Our faded scars inside and outside will be remiders of what we overcome. Im not there yet but im gonna keep going with God w/ me & someday i will get there. Let this be an encouragement to u ILY u can win this fight.