Our Chemical Hearts by @Km_Sutherland – 5* Book Review

 I love YA. But mostly, I read YA fantasy or dystopian fiction. That was silly. I won’t be restricting myself like that again. I’d forgotten there was an enormous field of books in the YA genre and I nearly missed out on this little gem of a book. That would have been a mistake.

This book is for anyone who’s felt like a weirdo, or who doesn’t understand strange people.

Amazon Blurb

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.

You can buy the book here: AmazonUK, AmazonCOM

My Review

Image from Amazon

Some books change you; others give you philosophical and emotional revelations because the protagonist has them and you realise that you too are just like her. I like to think of those things as moments of truth. But this book, while it did many of those things, also did something else. It made me feel okay to be weird. See – this book is about two weird kids in high school and their love story.

But the portrayal, the weird quirks which were totally normal and acceptable in the book reminded me that I am not alone. That there are weird people in the world and it’s okay to be unique, to be individual. Some people are weird because they’re processing grief, or loss or love, others are weird because they have beautiful minds. But the reason why doesn’t matter, the point is, it’s all okay.

What I loved about this book, were the characters. So unique in their everything. Their dress sense, their quirks, their mannerisms and dialogue. The book was so refreshing. I don’t know if that’s because it’s been a while since I read anything that wasn’t dystopian or fantasy, but either way, I adored it. I rooted for the characters because I saw myself in them, I felt their emotions their pain, because I’d felt it before. There was so much truth, and love, and hurt, and pain, and grief in this book and all of it was beautiful.

Summary

Be warned, only read this book if you have a free day or free evening. I sat down to read at 8 pm thinking I’d read for an hour or so, and at 1 am I closed the book having eaten every carefully placed word from the story. This book is compulsive, fast-paced and as addictive as heroin. In fact, it is book heroin, and now I have an almighty hangover.

I’m hooked a converted Krystal Sutherland fan. I’ll read everything she ever writes, because man, can she weave a good yarn. Her characters are so life like, so real, so emotional, I dare you not to be hooked by this book.

Forget genre recommendations, or putting it on your list because you like YA. If you’re weird, you need to read this book, end of. And even if you’re not weird, you still need to read this book to understand weird people.

You just need to read this book. Go. Buy. Read. Why are you still here? Be gone book monkeys.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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13 comments

    1. It was sooooo good. I still think about it now, but if you’re not a YA reader it might not be your bag – it’s very typical of a YA book.

  1. So does it have anything to do with Elvis? Oh no, thats Grace Land, isn’t it? Lol! I’m intrigued now, what IS making her so sad? I’m not really into high school fiction, but this book sounds like a masterclass in character development.

    1. I can’t tell you. Because seriously… wow. I know you don’t like high school, but I read this in one night. It won’t take you long, and it is beautiful. Really, truly, beautiful.

  2. You convinced me. Next time I place an order through Amazon, I will order this book too. I grew up different; weird to those so called average-normal kids (is there really such a thing if we scratch deep enough into every child’s life?). Can we even find a child that grew up in a family that fits the stereotype of politically-correct and perfect in every way? I haven’t found one yet and I’m 71 and counting.

    Every family I’ve known is dysfunctional in some way even when the do all they can and pretend not to be dysfunctional.

    And this reminds me of a poem by Dale Wimbrow.

    https://lloydlofthouse.org/2012/05/19/the-face-in-the-glass-by-dale-wimbrow/

    1. ah gawddddd. Now I feel pressure – what if you don’t like it? I LOVED it, but it’s my genre… do you read YA? It just threw me back to being at high school – I so remember feeling what they felt. I agree by the way. I think normal is a made up word. No way can anyone define it. And that’s part of the problem – we’re trying to measure ourselves against something that doesn’t even exist.

    1. ERHMAGHADDDDDD I loved it. Still think about it – but it’s SOOOO high school and proper first love stuff – I remember feeling JUST LIKE those characters – so if you like that kind of book I couldn’t recommend it more.

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