Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

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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.

Goodreads

Publication Date: 4th October 2016

Okay I have this thing where I tend to read the perfect books at the perfect time. I mentioned this after I read Dreamology but I somehow feel like I manage to always relate to certain characters and situations and I tend to read these things right when I’m going through the situation or when I’m dealing with a person.

Did that make sense? You still with me? Okay. Good.

Anyway, Henry and Grace’s love story kind of reminded me of something that I’m going through right now in the lightest sense possible. I mean most certainly I’m not in a secret relationship with a guy who has a tragic backstory but in a lot of ways, I feel very much like Henry and like the person I’m dealing with is a Grace.

I just really felt like this book was telling me something. It felt like a message in some way that I needed to hear to help me finally let go of this ‘Grace’ in my life.

Again, have I confused you? Yes? Okay I’m sorry. Let’s talk about the book.

Plot

This book follows Henry and Grace through their complicated love story. We have Grace. A girl with a tragic backstory and who is trying (and failing) to learn to love again.

Then, we have Henry. The boy who loves Grace with all his heart but is terrified because Grace is a very hard person to love and she constantly pulls away and in a way ridicules his efforts to show her how much he cares for her.

In an interesting twist, we have a guy who can somehow express his feelings properly, is a gentleman and who willingly and obviously cares too much. This of course is as opposed to the girl always having to be the one caring more and the one who ultimately gets more hurt.

Characters

Henry

I related so much to Henry mainly because of the above (albeit vague) life tidbit above. I think I just really understood him because he cared so much more then Grace did which is exactly what I do.

I always seem to be the one that cares more, that loves harder. I always seem to be the one ready to make sacrifices, to make excuses for unacceptable behaviour and I hate it.

I hate that I do this to myself. That I prioritise everyone above myself and I think somehow reading about a character that had a lot my own tendencies was a lot like stepping out of myself and just getting to see how this affects me as a person.

I guess it just made me feel really protective over Henry. Every time Grace did something to throw his love back in his face, I just loved Henry even more.

And while I did think that he could be sometimes quite pretentious (he talked too much about people being atoms), I think the fact that he was a writer kind of evened out the scale and made it okay.

Admittedly I don’t agree with every decision Henry made but it’s very hard to say that I didn’t like his character.

Grace

For exactly the reasons why I loved Henry, I’ll say that I hated Grace. Grace came into the story with a tragic backstory and she was a girl with a lot on her shoulders.

So naturally I thought, okay. I guess I’ll have to excuse her behaviour and I’ll have to be okay when she pushes Henry away because dude, the girl has been through so much.

However Grace very quickly crossed the line between behaviour that is acceptable for what happened to her to just plain old nasty.

I hated how she treated Henry. I mean if she was not ready for a relationship, why lead Henry on? Why force him to love you in private just because you’re not ready?

If you aren’t ready, end it before people get hurt. Don’t drag it out for your own ego.

I feel really strongly about Grace because, again, there’s that life tidbit above. So really Grace is pretty much exactly the person that I’m currently dealing with and reading about what she was doing just infuriated me because I’ve been in Henry’s shoes and I know how much it sucks to want something and to be led on and then to have the person basically take you on a ride and to give you mixed signals.

Overall

Overall I think I just had very mixed feelings about this book. I mean for starters, I don’t think that it should be compared to Rainbow Rowell. I mean I can see John Green’s typical pretentious teens in there but I see nothing of Rainbow Rowell except perhaps how honest they were about how unremarkable sex is.

Secondly, I was obviously just a little too emotionally invested in the characters and how they crossed the lines into my own life to be impartial.

Finally though, I will say this. The book was good and you probably won’t expect the ending. However I think that majority of the book was just a bit too infuriating and so it kind of dulled the ending in my opinion.

It’s a good book. Just that it takes a while to get there. It’s worth it though. The ending is worth sticking it out.

*A copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by Pansing. All opinions are my own*

My-Rating-3-Stars

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