After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.
Giving this such a low rating pains me, since I absolutely loved Just One Day (even if I wasn’t overly thrilled by Just One Year). The third-person POV shifts felt super awkward and distancing, Willem’s new-found foot fetish was uncomfortable, and aside from seeing the gang all in one place, this didn’t really add anything to the duology. I guess it’s because I’ve always been more invested in Allyson’s journey of self-discovery than the romantic aspects of the story.
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.
On one hand, My Heart and Other Black Holes is beautifully written, and describes depression in a manner that I was able to connect with, despite never having struggled with it myself. Unfortunately, the ending (and the romance in general) made me really uncomfortable, as it seemed to romanticize suicide/depression, and sent the message that love is all you need to immediately overcome depression. While that may be a nice thought and may give some people hope, I’m sorry to say that real life doesn’t work like that.