- Title: Our Chemical Hearts
- Author: Krystal Sutherland
- Publisher: Hot Key Books
- Release Date: October 4th 2016
- Pages: 320
Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.
Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.
Before we dive into what I think about this book, let us take a moment shall we, and appreciate this gorgeous cover! It is, hands down, one of my very favourite covers for the year – no surprise there. It’s simple yet gorgeous, and can you see how the fishes look very 3D-ish? Beautiful. I just couldn’t stop admiring it when I first received it. Just goes to show how a simple idea, if well-executed, can work wonders. Kudos, Theresa Evangelista!
Our Chemical Hearts is a story of first love. It’s warm and fun and sweet —- eh, hold on there. Let’s try again.
Our Chemical Hearts IS a story of first love, but it’s more than that. It’s a story on warm friendships and supportive families. It’s a story on tragedy and regret. Pain and forgiveness. It will take you through so many emotions; and that to me, shows just how well a writer can influence you.
I loved how the story was written in Henry’s point of view. His voice was very raw and convincing; which made it very easy to appreciate the writing. The funny thing is, some of the things he thought/said were kinda cliché – but it worked. IT. SO. WORKED. He has a very unique and imperfect personality which feels so REAL. Such a great character indeed. Put together with Grace’s mysterious ways, that’s where the magic happens.
“I didn’t want to tear off her clothes and kiss her. I just felt… drawn to her. Like gravity. I wanted to orbit her, be around her, the way the Earth orbits the sun.”
If you’re into pop culture references you will have immense fun because this book is full of them – the Harry Potter references were spot on! Loved, loved it. I would say that the references in general were a bit too many in my opinion so if you are not really the movie-going type this book might not be for you. Unless you’re okay with researching stuff while you read, that’ll work too! Oh and if you’re not into some fandoms by the way – *cough* skins sparkles in the sunlight *cough* – you might find it entertaining too. Hehe!
“Edward Cullen, you poor, miserable bastard,” I said as I locked my phone screen and stared at the ceiling.”I should not have udged you so harshly.”
The story-telling was very well-thought and creative. You will find PowerPoint slides and Facebook conversations which scored the book extra points. I particularly loved how the author connected the different parts of the story with an old Japanese art of repairing broken poetry – Kintsugi. The Japanese believe that when something/someone has suffered damage and has some sort of a history, it becomes more beautiful. I’ve known this symbolic expression even before I read this book but seeing how it connected so well with the story made it ever more special.
Overall – a very strong, memorable YA contemporary standalone which will fill your heart with so much compassion and love. I would highly recommend reading this. Fragmented pieces, when patched up, will be whole.
Thank you for this, Krystal.
“People don’t have soul mates. People make their soul mates.”
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I would like to thank Pansing for this review copy in exchange for my honest review!