Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland – ARC Review

Our Chemical Hearts Book Cover Our Chemical Hearts
Krystal Sutherland
Young Adult
Hot Key Books
4th October 2016

A bittersweet, funny, sad story of friendship, first love, and heartache, all rolled into one spellbinding tale, from a stunning debut novelist. For fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and E. Lockhart.

Henry Page, a hopeless romantic and film buff, is smitten as soon as Grace Town walks into his classroom. But Grace - who looks in need of a good bath, is dressed in guy's clothing, and walks with a cane - is unlike any leading lady he's ever obsessed over. And when Henry and Grace are both offered positions as editors of their high school newspaper, the mystery of Grace begins to captivate him. Why does she visit a graveyard every afternoon? What secret does she keep locked away in her bedroom? Above all, why is Grace Town so deeply sad? Before he knows it, Henry is sure that he is the one to unlock her happiness. But Grace is capricious, changeable, infuriating, and, above all, damaged. Henry will need to be the strongest he has ever been to survive this particular love story.

What a debut novel from Krystal Sutherland! Funny, intriguing and bittersweet!

Henry Page is your non-stereotypical lead male in this story. There are no jocks, football stars or Bradley Cooper-esque teenagers here. Just normal, relatable kids. Henry is 17, nerdy, not much to look at, struggles to get his thoughts across in a verbal and succinct manner and prefers to write his thoughts down. He’s a hopeless romantic and dreams of that ‘movie moment’ where he has a love at first sight scenario..and he kinda does with Grace Town. Only she is not an ordinary teenager, she walks with a cane, dresses in men’s clothes and looks like an ex junkie! Yet he’s intrigued by her and whatever secrets she is hiding.

The characters within this story are pure brilliance! Henry’s best friends, Lola and Murrey, his parents and his sister…their conversations are hilarious. The book is written mostly in a conversational style and I must have spent a huge part of it with a twisted grin on my face as I just found the dialogue so amusing! It paints a more realistic view of teenage love, as opposed to all hearts and flowers and fairy tale endings in ways we can all relate too.

I loved the title, I loved the cover (that’s what got my attention in the first place, not going to lie!) It reminds me of a John Green style type of book and to think that this is Krystal’s very first novel is so exciting, it means there’s so much more to come from her! This is a definite must have book for 2016!

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