Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Review: The opening of Our Chemical Hearts was amazing, we are introduced to Henry who is your average highschool senior film buff who is just going about his normal day fantasizing about what it would be like to fall in love when he sees Grace. Grace is everything a young woman shouldn’t be she dresses in men’s clothes, look grunge like and walks with a cane and Henry thinks he would never fall in love with a girl like this but from that first moment he can’t stop thinking about her. I love the fact that Henry drops a lot of HP references and thinking of the pairing he likens himself and Grace to made me laugh so hard I was crying. I also really enjoyed the fact they are quite awkward with each other in person but they talk a lot easier online which is the case for a lot of teens.
As we approach the 1/4 mark in the novel I really enjoyed watching the dynamics of the relationship between Henry and Grace because it is unusual. He is drawn to her not in a sexually way but just wants to be close to her and understand her whereas he has absolutely no idea if she feels anything for him otherwise than a very weak form of friendship. I also loved how neither Grace, Henry or their friends conform to typical teenage norms they are all very weird in their own ways. The romance in this story is a slow burn it take almost a 1/4 of the novel for Grace and Henry to hold hands and I found myself devouring it, page after page.
As we approach the half way mark in the novel, we see the first actions of a true romance forming between Grace and Henry although some alcohol was involved. I also loved Henry’s relationship with his parents and how laid back their attitudes are even towards things like underage drinking. I also like the amount of humour in this novel, it makes the awkward teen moments and fumbles seems more realistic. As we cross into the second half of the novel, we see Henry and Grace entering a relationship if you can call it that and are preparing to go all the way in their own strange way but the whole time Henry is trying to figure out who Grace is while Grace tries so hard to hide who she is. As we learn more about Grace’s past and her life now there is no way we can’t feel sorry for her but we hold out hope she might find some happiness with Henry by the end of this novel.
As we approach the 3/4 mark in the novel, we see Grace and Henry’s relationship is a lot more delicate than it first appears and they do struggle to really understand what they other wants from the relationship. Although Henry does see that Grace at times thinks he is her dead boyfriend and this really upsets Henry but he does understand it isn’t something she can quickly move past. As we cross into the final section of the novel, Henry and Grace take a massive downward spiral when he realises she is just a ghost projecting Dom’s presence into the world to make up for his lost, she even lives in his room in his parent’s house. Henry is devastated by the fact that he may never be able to help her move on and truly feels like he has lost her. The ending of this novel isn’t what the reader wants but it is what the character deserve and I cried like a baby for hours on end afterwards but it felt good to do it.
Overall, I absolutely loved our chemical hearts and the messages it carries. I loved all the characters but Grace and Henry stole the limelight in equal measures and they were everything and nothing in the entirety of the novel. I can’t believe I hadn’t picked it up sooner and can’t wait to read more from Krystal Sutherland.
I was sent this book for review consideration by Hot Key Books.
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