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.
Rating: 5 Stars
Book Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
“Love doesn’t need to last a lifetime for it to be real. You can’t judge the quality of a love by the length of time it lasts. Everything dies, love included. Sometimes it dies with a person, sometimes it dies on its own.”
I’ve always held the belief that we don’t give high schoolers/teens enough credit. How many times have I heard parents and adults speaking about their kids as if they don’t have a clue about what’s going on or how hard life is when really, they actually do! I don’t want to even limit this to outside the book community because it makes me sad to say it but one of my pet peeves is when bloggers comment on the unrealistic personalities of protagonists in YA books. They’ll make comments regarding how so and so is an “old soul” and it wasn’t befitting of a person that age. Come again? Teenagers are deep, and what they feel shouldn’t be lessened by how old they are. What I loved about Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland is that it didn’t belittle the impact of relationships and loss that young adults go through. This quote, although a little cynical for my tastes, was one of my favorites by Suds because she was one of the first people in the book who didn’t patronize Henry’s feelings for Grace just because they were young and in high school.
o All of the Harry Potter references: BUT OF COURSE this goes without saying! Going forward I’m totally taking a page out of Henry and Lola’s book and calling all ex-boyfriends “he-who-should-not-be-named.”
o Kintsukuroi: I LOVED how this Japanese art was used as a metaphor for Grace and Henry’s love for her. Even if you don’t plan to read this book you should google Kintsukuroi at the very least because the concept behind this art is awesome: The Japanese put broken pottery back together using gold for the seams because they believe that some things are more beautiful after they’re broken.
o The male protagonists: Finally some leading males that are, dare I say it, a bit dramatic! While I typically try to avoid the use of dramatic because of the underlying negative connotations, there is no better way to describe Henry and Murray in this book. What I loved about this though was that Sutherland assigned some of these traditionally (sexist) female characteristics to both of the male protagonists in her book and made Lola the levelheaded one who holds the three of them together.
Not So Favorite Bits:
o The ending: If you’re secretly (or not so secretly) a hopeless romantic the ending might be a little hard for you. I felt a little bit of Sutherland’s cynicism come through in the final few chapters of the book and I thought it was a bit at odds with the general message about love in Our Chemical Hearts. It didn’t necessarily ruin my opinion of the book, but it wasn’t the finale that I was hoping for.