This is one of my favourite contemporaries from 2016 (I have a list of favourite 2016 reads here if you’re interested). I thought I’d share a mini-review I did so you can add it to your TBRs too! ❤
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.
Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Genre: YA contemporary
Page Number: 313
Released: October 3, 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
This was such a wonderfully (often hilariously) narrated YA contemporary that I did not expect to adore, but Henry was too honest not to love and his story made my heart swell.
You how tropes can run rampant to dominate a story? NOT HERE! It’s like Krystal Sutherland skipped up to each trope, acknowledged it with a high five, and then walked in another direction. I loved her for doing that, it gave her book a backbone of hilarity and anticipation.
These characters felt real to me; from Henry’s narration, to Grace’s bone-deep sadness, I was thoroughly invested. As someone who doesn’t usually read YA contemporary, I am glad I made the exception for this; maybe I need to rethink my reading tastes!
Don’t get me wrong — this isn’t wholly a love story. It’s about friendship, family, support and growing up as well. I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book nearly as much as I did if Henry’s friends and family hadn’t also been present. They made me laugh as well, and it was encouraging to see them wholeheartedly support, or call out, Henry when he needed it.
Overall thoughts: I loved it, I cried, and it made me laugh aloud in public, so it’s definitely worth your time. Add it to your contemporary shelf, your wishlist, whatever you’ve gotta do! Such a quick, easy and fulfilling read. Loved every second.
5 / 5 stars