Review | Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Young Adult
Publishing on October 4th, 2016
ARC from Penguin First to Read



Book Blurb: 

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.

| Book Review |

*mild spoilers ahead

It’s always a risk when a book is advertised as being ‘for fans of.’ In the case of Our Chemical Hearts, it was touted as being for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. I’ve never read a book by Rainbow Rowell, but the one I’ve read by John Green I loved, so yeah. I went into this read with high expectations. Sadly, I was disappointed. To be fair, there were some great things about this book. Henry had a wonderful sense of humor, and I loved his close-knit group of buddies. They were always there for each other when one was feeling down or they simply needed some sense slapped into them, and they had a lot of fun together. I also really liked Henry’s older sister, Sadie. She was hilarious and I always love it when someone you don’t expect (or the teachers don’t expect,) go on to be successful. And I thought the co-editors of the yearbook was a great premise. But to be honest – it’s sort of the premise that never was.

Henry’s been waiting to be bitten by the lovebug, and when Grace comes along, he thinks he finally has been. I’m not sure where Henry’s attraction to Grace stemmed from, but it didn’t feel genuine. If I had to guess, my money would be on his desire to fall in love. Who he fell in love with wasn’t nearly as important to him that he did fall in love. I’m not sure he ever saw Grace for who she was or even, as Grace mentions, someone he wants her to be. I felt like he just saw her as someone who was there, and she just happened to have all of this emotional baggage with her. And look – I’m not saying what happened to Grace wasn’t horrific. It was. But I felt like Grace lead Henry on in an attempt to not be lonely, and it just didn’t sit right with me. They were both in the ‘relationship’ for the wrong reasons, and maybe if I’d felt anything genuine from Henry, I could have rolled with it. But I just didn’t. Grace was never very nice to him, and I couldn’t understand why he was grasping onto her. It was unhealthy and belittling all the way around. To top all of that off, we find out that Henry’s standard for relationships, his parents, has been a sham all along, and he never had an inkling.

Overall, Our Chemical Hearts was a miss for me. And I do wonder if I’d enjoyed it more if I’d gone in with different expectations.

| Rating |


4 thoughts on “Review | Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Add yours

    1. Haha! Nothing bad. This is why negative reviews are just as important for books. One man’s trash, and all that. I think it’s great when you can pinpoint what you like and see past a negative review to recognize that. I hope you love it!


      1. I think I’m just more intrigued now at the idea of a book about unhealthy attraction. The only thing that worries me is that it’ll try to paint the unhealthy attraction as ‘Good’.


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