Top Ten Tuesday: April 7

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Characters You’d Like to Check in With

 

1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy
You know you want to know what happens after the end of Mockingjay.  All we get is a glimpse into Katniss and Peeta’s personal future, but what about everyone else?  Does another dictator step in and take over?  Do they form a democracy?  Is it anarchy?  So many questions!

2. Aysel and Roman from My Heart and Other Black Holes
What happens after they (spoiler alert) don’t commit suicide?

3. Alyssa from the Splintered trilogy
I just want to know what her life is like in Wonderland with Morpheus!  It does look like I’ll be getting my wish though, as a novella was announced as a follow up!

4. Laurel from Love Letters to the Dead
Laurel really went through a lot trying to find out the secret behind May’s death and I’d like to see how her therapy helps her.

5. Cadence from We Were Liars
Talk about this character going through an emotional roller coaster.  I just want to know that she is okay and coping well!

6. Remy and Dexter from This Lullaby 
I want to just see them where they are now in their relationship, and hopefully they are still very happy together!

7. Sarah and Linda from Lies We Tell Ourselves 
Such a tumultuous time in history for civil rights and for a bi-racial lesbian couple.  I’d love to see how their story continued.

8. Young Catherine and Hareton from Wuthering Heights 
Sure, Bronte gives us the hope that the cycle is broken, but I really would like to see these characters get the happy ending that Catherine and Heathcliff never did.

9. Death from The Book Thief 
I know that Liesel changed Death, so I’d just like to see if any other encounters changed or influenced Death as well.

10. Helen and Lucas from the Starcrossed Trilogy
Much like with Romy and Dexter, I just want to see their happy ever after!

 

Who are some characters you want to check in with?

 

 

 

Book Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

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: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) 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. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

I can tell you that I’ve been struggling to really find a good contemporary young adult novel to really kickstart my interest.  I tend to be more interested in fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tale adaptations.  Nothing against contemporary, but I even tend to prefer historical YA over anything set today.  Maybe it’s because I’m just living in today and it seems a bit dull, but Warga’s novel really gave me a push into understanding why contemporary fiction can be so important.  Now I haven’t been living under a rock, so I’ve read YA books that deal with mental illness before (primarily books about teens suffering from Eating Disorders), but the only other contemporary novels I’ve read that feature the treatment of mental illness or anything like that were by Sarah Dessen.  Even then, it wasn’t a main topic of the narrative.

Well, now that I’ve bored you a bit with the ramblings of a book reviewer, I can start the (actual) review:

Warga’s novel doesn’t skirt around the fact that the main character is depressed and suicidal. (It is in the synopsis, btw) But the straightforwardness, not only of the main character, but of the narrative itself is quite refreshing.  I enjoyed the depressed, but thoughtful, voice of Aysel.  She was contradictory, she was absolutely quizzical, she was endearing, she was frustrating, and she felt so REAL.  Roman, also known as FrozenRobot, was a bit more flat as a character, and I found him a bit irritating through a lot of the narrative.  He was just so absolutely determined and seemed to be offended anytime Aysel expressed any type of possible thought that may have been toward the future.

I really appreciated how Warga depicted how depression can manifest in different people in different ways.  Aysel, for instance, was an outcast due to the actions of her father and how the public perceived her in relation to those actions.  This was a contributing factor to her depression, and it resembles a basic “warning sign” of depression.  Roman, on the other hand, isolated himself from his fellow popular friends and even quit playing a sport he loved as a form of punishment. This also led to him being alone with his thoughts.  I loved that both characters had very distinct aspects of their depression, but I appreciate and applaud Warga’s ability to not glamorize suicide and suicidal thoughts.  It is important to seek help for these thoughts, and I really liked that the publisher and author included a lot of resources in case readers need to reach out.

Now, to Warga, it was absolutely inspired to use physics and energy in this.  Not only did it speak to me as a former Science major, but also as a current (not so secretive) science nerd.  Brilliant.  I refuse to give away any of the quotes or aspects of this from the story because it really just made My Heart and Other Black Holes even more heartfelt and enjoyable.

I leave you with one of (that’s right, ONE OF) the dozens of memorable quotes from this story:

“I wonder if that’s how darkness wins, by convincing us to trap it inside ourselves, instead of emptying it out.”

Kudos to you Jasmine Warga, for really showing me that contemporary young adult fiction is not something to be underestimated.

4.5 Bards.

four.fivebards

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels for 2015

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

2. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

3. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Isn’t this cover amazing?

5. The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

6. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

7. Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

8. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

9. Not After Everything by Michelle Levy

10. Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott

What are some of the 2015 debuts that you are looking forward to? Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to my list!

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

 

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: February 10, 2015

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: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) 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. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

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