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.
Debut novelist Warga addresses adolescent depression and suicide with honesty and grace in this story of a scientific-minded Turkish-American 16-year-old who is preparing to end her life. Those in Langston, Ky., who don't know Aysel Seran have likely heard of her father, who "slashed the Olympic dreams of the whole town" by murdering its most talented young athlete. Since her father's incarceration, Aysel has been terrified that she inherited the gene that will make her a violent "monster" like him. Death seems like her only escape, but she doesn't want to die alone. Thus she makes a suicide pact with Roman, a teen she finds on a website for those considering suicide. When they meet, Roman's good looks and compassion are unexpected distractions; the more Aysel comes to understand Roman's talents, desires, and regrets, the less certain she is that they are making the right decision. Through an eloquent first-person narrative, Warga crystallizes the significant turning points in Aysel's attitudes and emotions, and celebrates the sparks of hope combatting the dark thoughts that threaten to destroy her. Ages 14 up.
Brought me to tears
I’m 14 and already on Anti-depressants and when I read this I was brought to tears not only by the story but by what the author wrote at the end definitely made me feel more worthy of life.
Good, but moves almost too fast
I read this book in one sitting over the course of a couple hours- so it was definitely a good book! At times it is hard to read some of Aysels dark thoughts, but it was incredible to see how Roman and Aysel’s connection transformed throughout the novel. I think the author does a great job of describing what depression feels like from the perspective of someone who is struggling with it. However, I felt as though Aysel’s shift from wanting to die, to suddenly recovering was a little too quick. It seems as though that is something that would develop over time, not within two pages (I’m exaggerating, but still). I felt like the book sends a very powerful message about human connection and finding hope when it seems like all is lost, and it definitely made me feel a variety of different emotions as the book progressed. Overall, this book was good, but I wouldn’t consider it one of my favorites at the end of the day. The line between “romantic love curing depression” and “truly finding happiness for yourself” was blurred at times. I feel like it’s possible to walk away with the wrong message, and I was slightly disappointed how this realistic tale of a teenager experiencing depression turned into something a little less authentic towards the end. Regardless, I think the book allows the reader to get inside the head of someone experiencing the struggles of mental illness and definitely raises awareness. It is heart breaking and almost beautiful to think about how people can enter each others life at just the right moment. How two people who feel misunderstood can find eachother and not just listen to one another, but truly and completely understand someone one another’s feelings without judgement. To sum it up, this book left me with a variety of feelings and they stayed with me for a long time. That being said, this book definitely had an impact on me and I would encourage others to read it.
A Must Read for MHA
Anybody that has dealt with mental health issues themselves, or has a loved one with mental health issues, needs to read this book. “The black slug” is the perfect metaphor. I will never stop recommending this book. I cried during parts that most people wouldn’t have even thought were sad—there are just some comparisons that were TOO relatable.