Our Chemical Hearts

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland


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 pictures 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 schoool 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. 


Maybe it was possible to love two different versions of someone at the same time. And maybe, just maybe, some people still wanted redemption for sins they didn't need absolved anymore.

While I was reading this book, I was struggling to really keep going and now that I've finished it I'm struggling to put into words my feelings towards Our Chemical Hearts. Because it wasn't a bad book, truly, and I totally understand how one might absolutely fall in love with it but the thing is I also understand why some people don't really like the book. Frankly, I fall somewhere in the middle and am mostly meh about Our Chemical Hearts. It didn't blow me away, like I expected it to, but there were some amusing parts and bits. Still, overall, I'm mostly indifferent.

The thing is, some of the elements which could have elevated the story just fell flat for me and I realized this very early on, already putting a damper on my excitement. For example, Henry and his friends and family are very weird and this could have been amazingly hilarious (or at least really funny) but it never managed to make me react to it (and I'm prone to - at least - snorting while reading funny things) at all. There are other things and elements that I recognised as potentially great but that didn't cut it for me. All this is to say that there was hardly anything that I subjectively and truly enjoyed in this book (but there were things that I recognised as objectively good).

What is more is that I kinda disliked both Henry and Grace and I disliked both of them together. Grace was supposed to be some weird anti-spin on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope (this is specifically addressed in the book) but the spin never really came through to me and she continued to feel like a MPDG to me for the entire story, making her tragic backstory only an additional trait to the MPDG aloofness. Sadly, I can't do the same for Henry and pinpoint where exactly our relationship failed but fail it did. And their relationship together? Well, the story speaks for itself on this one. Pretty much all other characters I at least somewhat enjoyed but these two just weren't my cup of tea. Which is bad, because they are the topic of the majority of the book.

What I'm trying to say is this: This isn't a bad book, it just isn't a book I enjoyed. And it's not the book's fault, it's just me not being wired like the book is. It doesn't do anything special (neither positively nor negatively) and I'm pretty indifferent about this whole experience. I understand how many people have more severe reactions to this story - but I'm not one of them.


Initially, I rated this 3.5 stars but I think I'm "downgrading" it to a 3/5 stars.


Name: Our Chemical Hearts
Deutscher Titel: Unsere verlorenen Herzen
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 320
Where?: Amazon (English edition), Amazon (deutsche Ausgabe)


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