Aysel and Roman both want to die. Specifically, on April 7th. For Aysel, she wants to rid herself of the possibility of growing up like her father. For Roman, the guilt of his nine-year-old sister’s death, under his care, weighs too heavily on him. Demanding that each other aren’t flakes, they make a pact for April, which would mark one year since Roman’s sister died.

In her contemporary YA debut, Jasmine Warga gives an initially grey and simple protagonist in Aysel—but as the story progresses and she allows herself to open up more to the reader, it’s like something becomes unlocked within her. Then her thoughts and potential erupt into colours, vivid and beautiful, and Aysel realises that there’s so much more to her life; that perhaps her demons aren’t what she always thought.

MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES is a poignant and beautiful story about finding reasons to live in the deepest desire of wanting to die. It’s about the rawness of mental health and the all-round effect it has on everything. Yet as time goes on, Aysel realises that she doesn’t want to die with Roman. She wants to feel alive with him.


– Review by Bryony Reid.