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About the Book

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.

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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. They
have nothing in common, but they slowly start to fill in each other’s
broken lives. 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.

Discussion Questions
1. W 
hat about the first chapter immediately sets the mood?
How did it set the tone for the rest of the novel?

7. I s Aysel ostracized from her community, or is she isolating
herself?

2. A 
ysel is consumed by depression and darkness, but she’s
hesitant to take her own life. What do you think this says
about both her personality and her mental state?

8. H 
ow do Aysel’s and Roman’s relationships with their
respective families differ? How are they similar?

3. D 
o you think it’s important that you don’t know the
specifics of Aysel’s father’s crime until later in the story?
What effect does this have on the reader?
4. W 
hy does Aysel’s father’s crime consume so much of
Aysel’s life? What does it say about her that she feels guilty
for something she didn’t do? Is guilt the only emotion she
feels in regard to her father’s crime?
5. How does Roman’s mother contrast with Roman’s own
personality and disposition? Why is this important to the
plot?
6. A 
ysel starts to recognize Roman’s habits and says, “People
are funny. The longer you are around them, the more you
start to realize that everyone makes the same motions over
and over again” (page 132). What does this reveal about
Aysel’s mind­-set?

9. W 
hat role does music play in Aysel’s life? How important
is it for her?
10. E 
ach chapter begins with a countdown to the
predetermined suicide date. What does this technique do
for the reader?
11. R 
oman notices that Aysel sleeps with socks on one night
and says, “My point is you can change,” (page 232). While
Roman is technically talking about her sleeping habits,
what does he imply with this statement? Do you agree?
12. W 
hy is the ending so important? Did you imagine a
different ending for Aysel and Roman? What do you think
happens after the last page?
I f you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts,
the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always open at
1-800-273-TALK. You are not alone.

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