I’m a bit concerned that the only books that I seem to even vaguely enjoy anymore tend to be Young Adult. I use “enjoy” loosely, because I certainly didn’t love My Heart and Other Black Holes, but I did like it, which I’ll take at this point.
Jasmine Warga’s stab at the emo-rific world of teenage angst isn’t quite at the caliber of John Green, but it’s not far off. Instead of characters facing cancer, Warga’s sixteen-year-old protagonist, Aysel, spends her spare time plotting her own suicide. She joins a website for those doing the same, a match.com of sorts for those looking to end it all with a buddy. Apparently if one has formed a suicide pact with another individual, that person is more likely to actually go through with it. Thus young Aysel meets Roman, another troubled youth who wants to partner up with Aysel to, well, die. As the two get to know each other, Aysel starts to appreciate life, and Roman. She wants to back out, but Roman still wants to go through with it. As the agreed suicide date approaches, Aysel struggles to convince Roman that it takes the bad times to make one truly appreciate the good. Ring the sap alarm.
**SPOILER ALERT**My Heart and Other Black Holes kept me interested, but the ending was a bit too tidy for my tastes. Aysel and Roman are so tormented by their pasts that they plan a date, time, and place to end their lives together, but just like that they are both able to come out of it and embrace life. Warga makes it seem a little too easy to come out of the sort of dark depression that afflicted these kids. Roman does try to kill himself, but he is found just in time, and after just a few short days at the hospital, he’s ready to take on life with Aysel. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars was so good because it was so true. There are not always happy endings. Sometimes people die. Warga should have taken it there for a more powerful novel.
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