“Nothing about this is going to be easy.”
When it comes to books about suicide and depression, 2015 has started off with a couple of them. All the Bright Places, I Was Here, The Last Time We Say Goodbye, and now, My Heart and Other Black Holes.
What this book brings to the table, however, is a different way to commit suicide: using suicide partners. Seeing Aysel and Roman forming a connection over deciding to die together was definitely very different to what I was used to reading.
I will be honest and let you know right now: this book? It’s depressing. I was bummed out for the first 30-40% because everything was just so sad. I could literally feel Aysel’s depression as strongly as if it were my own. Her “black slug”, as she refers to it, is a constant presence, and I felt as if it were sucking up my happiness as I kept on reading.
I spend a lot of time wondering what dying feels like. What dying sounds like.
However that’s not to say that it was a bad book. On the contrary, it was pretty amazing. It doesn’t glamorize mental illnesses or depression, on the contrary, it showed how the wrong approach to these can have bad consequences.
Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there’s nothing beautiful of literary or mysterious about depression. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and in your blood. If I know anything about it, this is what I know: It’s impossible to escape.
It was very impacting seeing how Aysel and Roman planned their impending suicide; the knowing that a special project was due for a date after the mutual suicide, the fact that they were slowly saying goodbye to family members and friends without being so obvious about it… It was damn heartbreaking. It makes a reader think “could I be able to see the signs if someone close to me was considering suicide?”.
But the thing is, our project is due on April 10, so in the end it doesn’t matter. I’ll be gone before we have to turn it in.
This book is beautifully written. It’s easy to follow, and Aysel’s voice, even while being completely messed up and cynical, is compelling to say the least. I like how physics and classical music were integrated into the novel; it made it all the more interesting.
Recently I’ve become so much more aware of the things we do that keep us alive- our inhales, our exhales, our heartbeats.
I thought this would have been predictable YA mental illness disorder book, but I’m glad to have been wrong. I loved being surprised!
My only complaint is that I wish I could have read from Roman’s POV as well. I don’t feel like we get to know him all that much through Aysel’s description.
Overall I really recommend this book; it brought something different to an seemingly saturated genre about suicide. It was brilliantly written and Aysel and Roman are characters that’ll stick with you even after finishing reading.