EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has closed a deal for movie rights to first-time author Jasmine Warga’s young-adult novel My Heart And Other Black Holes with Anonymous Content attached to produce. The book was published February 15 by HarperCollins’ Balzer + Bray imprint and has been sold for publication already in 17 countries.

My Heart And Other Black Holes 2The story centers on a pair of teenagers, Aysel Seran and Roman Franklin, who meet through an online site matching up suicide partners (these groups actually exist) to help ensure each partner will not back out of their own suicide. In a twist on Romeo and Juliet, they become more and more intimate through the 26-day countdown to their date until one question hangs between them: Will they live or will they die?

Warga is a 26-year-old Jordanian American from Cincinnati who wrote the novel after the death of a close friend to give voice to feelings of depression and isolation. “Aysel was a vessel for me to tackle questions about the demon of depression, grief, and the ultimate saving power of love and human connection,” the first-time writer told Interview magazine just before the book hit stands.

Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Ashley Zalta will produce the movie, and Paramount’s Peter Kang is the creative executive on the project. It joins other YA projects in development there including an adaptation of Fault In Our Stars author John Green’s first book Looking For Alaska, with Fault In Our Stars scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber on board to adapt.

This is the first deal unveiled since Marc Evans was named the studio’s new Motion Picture Group president this week after Adam Goodman departed at the end of last month.

The Heart pact was made by Hotchkiss and Associates with Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.