Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult
John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.
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.
Source: Bought at Indigo
Since before it even released last year, I had been hearing amazing things about Our Chemical Hearts. It at first didn’t really seem like the type of book I’d love with all my heart, but the hype convinced me to pick it up. I am so glad that the hype sucked me in- I really, really enjoyed this novel!
Even though I found that this book was a tad poignant and melancholy, the story was beautiful, meaningful, and extremely well-written. After having read this, I feel the need to pick up and devour many more of Krystal Sutherland’s works.
For a plot summary, Our Chemical Hearts follows two teens named Henry and Grace. Although Henry tries to focus more on getting good grades than on falling in love, he cannot resist himself when he meets Grace one day in his first period class. Although Grace is troubled in every sense of the word, Henry starts falling for her when the two of them are put on the school newspaper committee together. Can Grace’s troubles provide an opportunity for Henry to vent out his own struggles and help her get through hers, all the while forming a happy and healthy relationship?
I absolutely loved how adorably quirky and awkward Henry was at times! I found him to be such a sweetheart, and I’m glad that this book was narrated through the eyes of a teenage boy for once. I don’t read too many contemporaries (especially romances) with male protagonists, and this novel was a great refresher in that sense. Grace was extremely mysterious, private, and deeply wounded, and though I didn’t think the romance between her and Henry was the strongest as Grace tended to pine over her old boyfriend, what I did love was their strong friendship.
At first I thought that the plot was going to be quite straightforward, but it turned out that there were so many unexpected twists and turns. Good characters are still what will always make me enjoy a book the most, but the book becomes even more of a winner if there is an eventful and fun ride of a plot.
All in all, Our Chemical Hearts is one of those stories that tend to break hearts and mend them back together again, as that is what happened to me and likely many other readers as well. The characters had some very interesting and unique quirks, and the plot was at the perfect pace, however, this book just did not have that extra something to bring it all the way up to five stars. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in poignant and eccentric romance tales- I can almost guarantee that you’ll love it!