ARC, 302 pages
Release Date: February 10, 2014
Published by: Balzer + Bray
For fans of: Contemporaries, Diversity, Realistic Fiction, Tear Jerkers, YA
A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.
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.
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.'"
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.