Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health
Rating: 3.5 to 4 Star
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.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Principal Valentine walked past at one point and spotted me, my forehead pressed flat against my desk, and said, “Page. Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”
To which I replied, without sitting up, “My teenage hormones have rendered me too emotionaly fragile to be in a learning environment right now.”
Valentine was silent for a few seconds, then she simply said, “Carry on.”
So I did.
I would say a big thank you to Penguin Random House Australia for sending me a copy of this book for review!
The way I came about getting this book was really… sort of like the universe telling me I had to read it. I was looking around at author events happening in Brisbane since I had such a pleasant time at BWF and I saw an event for Krystal Sutherland to talk about her debut book Our Chemical Hearts, a book I had yet to hear anything about at this point, at Riverbend Books and thought it sounded interesting so if I had the time then I would probably go. Then a couple of days later I received the Penguin email with the books available for review over the next couple of months and there it was! And its publicist just happened to be the very first publicist to give me a chance as a reviewer and send me a physical ARC. At this point the decision was pretty much made for me at this point so I sent off an email requesting the book and the Monday before the Friday event I had the book in my hands.
Now anyone who has sort of been on here for awhile that Mondays and Tuesdays are pretty much ride off days for since my schedule is filled the the brim so I was actually quite worried that I would get the to event and not have finished the book. But I managed to fly through this book in a two day stint. The writing style was very easy to read and it flowed. If I were to compare this book to other debut YA books by other authors I would not have guessed that this one was a debut.
I also thought the characters were nicely diverse and had depth to them. The only one that annoyed me (sometimes) was the only Aussie character Murray. Sometimes his slang was nauseating, but other than that everyone was fine. I think all the actions taken by each were things that people would have actually done, and none of dialogue felt forced or pointless at any point. Each character also enhanced the story or served a purpose and they didn’t feel like fillers.
I’d been truly drunk only once before, when I was sixteen. Murray had coerced me into drinking tequila with him, to test the legitimacy of the ‘one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor’ theorem. Over the course of the evening I discovered that ‘one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor’ is wildly inaccurate. It’s more like one tequila, two tequila, three tequila,vomit all over your clothes, cry while your father puts you in the shower, vomit some more, cry and ask your mother to cook you ‘salmon eggs,’ whatever that is, be put to bed by your mother, decide you’re going to escape your parents’ totalitarian regime, vomit in the garden while escaping, be put back to bed by your father, floor.
Now here comes my big issue. While I loved the plot and I thought it was really interesting to read about a story that was different from the other YA books I have read, I also didn’t like it because the entire time I was just screaming at Henry. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! IN WHAT WAY DO YOU THINK THIS WILL END?! THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! I loved the idea of becoming more beautiful after being broke, but that takes much time a and willingness to be fixed and Grace had no interest in any of that. I would like to take this moment to tell anyone is you are in a relationship in anyway similar to this one RUN FOR THE FUCKING HILLS.
The event was amazing and I am so glad I went. I love hearing authors talk about their books and lives or influences and Krystal had us all laughing at a few points. I of course got my book signed as well which is always a plus. Riverbend Books was also a very lovely bookstore that I has never visited before, and has inspired be to do a tour of Brisbane book stores at some point.
The part I really enjoyed though was once the event was over. I got to finally meet the publicist (who I will leave unnamed just encase people try to hassle her) who gave me my first shot and sent me so many books since then, talk with the author, the bookstore owner/manager, as well as the moderator Rhianna Patrick. All of whom were lovely lady’s and were so enthusiastic about everything. Rhianna was very offended about my lack of twitter usage so now I shall have to try and become better at twitter haha. In all serious though is was amazing to be able to talk to these ladies for as long as I did :)
I think this is where I am going to leave this here. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes sad YA books, and I would recommend everyone to go to as many author events as possible!
Till Next Time…