Our Chemical Hearts, by Krystal Sutherland, is a touching young-adult story about Henry Isaac Page’s different and tragic kind of first love.
I’m fairly new to reading in the young adult genre (this being my second YA book I’ve read this year.) If most YA books are this easy to sink into, this magnetic and page-turning, then I’m annoyed with myself that I haven’t become a fan sooner. I was under the impression that most YA stories involved werewolves, vampires, or something of the sort. I stand corrected. YA is easy to sink into because, as an adult, I’ve experienced the same emotions, the same coming of age angst, perplexity, and heartbreak—and know, that in time, these teens will come into their own and thrive.
I love Henry Page’s first person narration. He states things simply and personably. I liked him and how he sees the world, and can relate to so many of his emotions. (It’s like hearing The Wonder Years narrator in my head—almost a nostalgic feel to it.) He is witty, genuine, and likeable.
Grace Town is also an interesting character. She’s a quirky, damaged, and intriguing girl who I wanted, desperately, to understand. Being mysterious is part of her charm, and also holds a large part of Henry’s interest.
The secondary characters and their stories add to this tale without getting in the way or confusing things. The pacing is steady, for the most part, but there were places here and there that I felt dragged just a bit. Not enough to lose my interest, but enough to be mentioned. Talented writing, unique plot, and unforgettable characters.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
First Lines: I always thought the moment you met the great love of your life would be more like the movies. Not exactly like the movies, obviously, with the slow-mo and the hair blowing in the breeze and the swelling instrumental soundtrack.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher via FirstToRead.