Synopsis: 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.
Not quite as humorous as I thought it would be, but it's still good. The idea of suicide partners is a clever, refreshing take on mental illnesses...
Does a dead body still have potential energy or does it get transferred into something else? Can potential energy just evaporate into nothingness? That’s the question I don’t know the answer to. That’s the question that haunts me.
The story is told in first POV by Aysel (pronounced similar to gazelle). I was definitely pronouncing her name wrong (in my head) for at least half the book. Anyways, she's 17, and she's supposed to be a junior in high school. Her life is not the easiest, but she is a trooper. However, I found her reasoning for wanting to commit suicide weak. Maybe that's why she was so easily persuaded...
My favorite thing about Aysel was her love for physics. It's such a small detail, but it made all the difference for me. Somehow, it made her character more tangible. Aysel also had a wicked (and dark) sense of humor which I loved.
He was dark, complex, and a little irritating in the beginning, but that's okay. He was supposed to be like that. And as the story went on, he grew on me - just like he did with Aysel. By the end, I think I actually liked him even more than Aysel.
The two other characters I'd like to mention are Tyler and Georgia (I kept reading this as Georgiana from Pride and Prejudice). I really liked Tyler for some reason, even though he was only in there for a chapter or two. I wish Jasmine Warga would have given us the chance to know Georgia better. I felt that we never really got to know the real Georgia. We only got Aysel's warped perspective of her. I also disliked the evil step-sister and nasty cheerleader cliché.
Aysel and Roman's relationship progressed at the perfect pace. I think their personalities complimented each other well, and there was a genuine feeling of affection and concern for each other. It felt so real.
The only thing I didn't like about relationship is that it was used as a pivot point for the story (at least for Aysel).
"You know?" he presses. "Us doing whatever we're doing, becoming whatever we're becoming, it doesn't change anything. It can't." His actions don't match his words though, because as he's talking, he's pulling me closer.
"I know," I whisper.
But deep down, what I know is this: Everything has changed.
It's an important one. Depression is real and should be treated the same as other illnesses. We need to stop romanticizing it.
Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there's nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression.
Depression is like a heaviness that you can't ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it's in your bones and your blood.
I liked the ending. I made a point earlier in the review about Aysel and Roman's relationship being a pivotal point in the book. The ending kind of combats that point which made the story more realistic while still allowing for some optimism - a beacon of hope.
I was a little bit confused on how the ending came to be.
I was not able to relate this story as well as I could with All The Bright Places. This is mainly because while I'm not an optimist, I do like to look on the brighter side of things. This book contained more negativity - and for a good reason - whereas All The Bright Places had more happier scenes interspersed, giving me some relief from all the sadness. There were a few moments where I wanted to yell at the characters to look at all the positive things in their life - mostly at Aysel. That's a personal thing for me though.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. You should check it out.