“Our Chemical Hearts” by Krystal Sutherland

Spoiler Alert, the following book review reveals details about the plot.


“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. ”




Initially, I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic about the story, however the more I read, layers of storyline as well as of the main characters has started to peel off. Grace is not your usual girl in YA novels. She’s wearing boy’s clothes and walks with a cane. I think it’s clear from the beginning that this girl keeps a dark secret and so when Henry starts to fall for her, all the mystery is unveiled. Grace is not your typical young adult novel girl and so it gives a fresh and unique perspective on the story.

I think the main thing about this novel that I found particularly enjoyable is that it did not in one bit focus solely on the love part. It was about family, friendship but most of all, it was about loss, grieving. It contained a message that had to be told, not only adults are affected by death of someone they loved. It is very hard to imagine someone of younger age experiencing the death of a loved one and this story tells it all. This novel has shown how important individual grief is, how each person feels it and deals with it on a different, incomparable scale.


There is many amazing quotes mentioned, all acknowledged at the end, for reference. The characters were very well developed. You had a chance to get to know all of the characters, not only the main ones, but their friends and families as well. It created a lovely and realistic story. The dialogue between Henry and his best friends as well as certain parts of the storyline were hilarious and heartfelt.

Henry is said to be an aspiring writer and so I particularly enjoyed his facebook messages with Grace as well as his writing drafts. I wish there was more of them, I feel like they helped to gain more insights into the characters and who they were.

Henry’s character was very unique. He underwent a significant development. All he wanted at the start was to be able to love Grace and to understand her, so when Henry falls in love with Grace, he is not only uncovering her layer by layer as well as her coping mechanism, he is also uncovering some harsh truth. It doesn’t matter how much you truly love another person, you must realise when the relationship is unhealthy and take the appropriate actions. For your own good as well as that of the person you love.

I think this novel is very significant, in comparison with other YA novels I read, this one felt real, I got to know the characters and go through everything alongside them. It wasn’t cliché, it made me laugh many times and I read it very quickly and readily. I was very satisfied with the ending, I think it was a very natural progression for both characters, it was a very mature approach to the situation.


Quote from the book: “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. The greatest love story ever told doesn’t have to be about two people who spent their whole lives together. It might be about a love that lasted two weeks or two months or two years, but burned brighter and hotter and more brilliantly than any other love before or after. Don’t mourn a failed love; there is no such thing. All love is equal in the brain.”

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