Hodder & Stoughton

Book Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga – Paperback, 309 pages – Published February 12th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton

I’d heard a few things about this book around the internet and stuff, but didn’t actually read the blurb until the day I started the book. I guessed it was my kind of book from the title, but yeah I had no idea what it was about until I actually started it.

In case you’re wondering, it’s about a suicidal teen and her Suicide Partner, who meet through an online suicide forum. Bit messed up but yeah. Depression is like that.

Obviously, it may not be suitable if you’re going to get triggered by the frequent mentions of suicide and depression, but on the other hand I’d say this is actually aimed at people who are struggling – despite Aysel’s decision to kill herself, this book is actually about overcoming your sadness and fears and issues. It’s about living, not dying.

Aysel’s reason for wanting to die is because she’s scared she’s like her father – her father, who’s locked up for murder. And her partner feels responsible for the death of his little sister, and believes he doesn’t deserve to live when she isn’t living anymore. Obviously, these sorts of triggers are not the only reasons people kill themselves – you don’t have to have some big issue like this to want to die, believe me – but I think these particular situations are quite good. Not the ordinary kind of trigger you read about, but also pretty real.

Aysel is, for most of the book, kind of a bitch. She’s pretty sure she’s gonna be dead in a month, so she doesn’t care too much about anyone else anymore. But all of a sudden, “love” changes her – her relationship with Roman, her Suicide Partner, helps her see herself differently. Even if he’s still depressed as hell and set on killing himself.

The ending, to me, was maybe a little too cheesy. A little too perfect and happy. Yeah, I definitely didn’t want either of them to actually kill themselves, but this change of heart happened so quick and Roman, who was so against “flaking out” just changed his mind along with Aysel so easily. I feel like it should have taken more fight. It made it out to be too easy, too simple to just “change your mind”. It doesn’t really happen like that in real life, not in my experience.

But at the same time, Aysel’s “black slug” of depression is pretty accurate. Eating her happiness and sadness and just all her emotions, for the most part. Taking away everything.

So I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a really good read, overall. My only issues are with the accuracy of the topic, because it’s something quite important to me. I hate when mental health is portrayed wrong. Like I said, it wasn’t too far off, though. So about 3.5 stars, I think. A good read, just not quite how I would’ve written the ending.

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Book Review: The Disappearances

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The Disappearances by Gemma Malley (The Killables #2) – Paperback, 414 pages – Published October 10th 2013 by Hodder & Stoughton

This is the sequel to Gemma Malley’s The Killables which I read recently. It consists of the same characters as before, such as Raffy, Linus, Lucas, Evie, the Brother, and also some extra characters. It, obviously, takes place after the System has been shut down – this having caused some issues, such as the Disappearances.

This is written in a rather different way to the previous book, in that it is told from different viewpoints and even during different time periods. The reader must piece together what is happening without it being explained to them, and how it’s relevant to the plot. We’re given insights to the start of the Horrors and the past lives of some of the characters.

I was honestly quite surprised with how dark this was quite early on; I was expecting the Disappearances to have a happy ending, not the pile of bodies that is actually given. Personally, this made it more thrilling and exciting, though.

The love triangle is slightly irritating, as all YA love triangles are. But I like that Raffy has his issues – anger and possessive issues, in fact, which is a very real problem for many people. And the backstories of the characters make them so much more real and lovable.

I think I prefer this to the previous novel, if only just a bit. I think 4 stars is a good rating for this.

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Book Review: The Killables

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The Killables by Gemma Malley (The Killables #1) – Paperback, 372 pages – Published October 1st 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton

I first discovered Gemma Malley thanks to my close friend several years ago. I remember loving her books and was so upset when the sequel to the book I’d read had not been released. I’m planning on reading that book soon…

So, the plot. Evie thinks she’s evil, doomed to be reconditioned. She has dreams that must be caused by her evilness, and even meets up secretly with her matched one’s brother.

The city Evie lives in is supposed to be safe, with no evil. But when her lover, Raffy, is destined to become a K, Evie knows something is wrong. His brother, Lucas, who once seemed so harsh and cold, is now the one helping Evie and Raffy escape. What if everything she had thought about him was wrong?

Beyond the city walls, Raffy and Evie meet Linus. He reveals the truth about the New Baptism, about the effects of the operation – how removing the amygdala does not only remove evil but humanity itself. They devise a plan to overcome the System as it is and return it to its original design.

I love the plot of this, and it’s fantastically written. It’s exciting and unexpected and really easy to read. But the love triangle… Why… Why does every YA book have one?! Why can’t Evie just be in love with one brother and leave it at that?! Meh.

I am soon to read the rest of this trilogy, and will be posting my reviews on those too. But I do really like Gemma Malley, and would certainly recommend reading some of her books.

As for this particular novel, I’m going to rate it 4 stars out of 5. Exciting and thrilling, but not perfect.

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