Review: Our Chemical Hearts

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.

This is one of those books that I regret not reading as soon as I bought it. It’s literally been sitting on my bookshelf for four years, waiting for me to pick it up. Well, I finally did… and the book is amazing! The story, the characters, all of it. It’s one of those books that I know will stick with me for a long time after reading it.

Henry Page has never been in love. In fact, nothing exciting has ever really happened to him in his seventeen years of life. Then, on the first day of senior year, Grace Town walks into his life… and it’s never going to be the same.

Grace walks with a can, wears men’s clothing that hides her frame, and just wants to fly under the radar. However, when she and Henry are put together as the new co-editor-in-chief team of the school newspaper, she finds herself drawn to him, and the two begin a roller-coaster of a friendship, and romantic relationship. As they spend more time together, Henry learns just how broken Grace is, and that sometimes a new love can’t fix everything.

“…something must first be shattered for it to be put back together in a way that made it more beautiful than before.”

I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book that much, despite hearing wonderful things about it. Mainly because I know that sometimes what everyone else likes, isn’t what I like. I’m glad to say that I loved this story though. As heartbreaking as it is to see these two try to make a relationship work that was dead on arrival, I connected emotionally with them and loved the people they were. Despite their flaws, both Henry and Grace were easy-to-love characters. Their roller-coaster of love is something I feel that most people can relate to, whether it’s being “in love” or even just a deep platonic-friendship kind of love.

The friendships and family relationships in this book were fantastic as well – mainly Henry’s, that is. His parents cracked me up at times with their antics of teasing Henry, and his dynamic with his older sister is adorable. Henry’s best friends, Lola and Murray (aka: La and Muz), had the cutest friendship with him. They were worried about the relationship he begins with Grace, thinking of his emotional well-being, and when times got rough with the couple, La and Muz were comforting in a way that I don’t think most teenagers would be.

Overall, this book was a devastatingly beautiful read and I highly recommend it across the board!

Rating: 5/5 stars

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