Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Genre: Fiction/ Romance
My favourite quote; ‘”I come here whenever I want to be reminded of how insignificant I am in the grand scale of the universe. Space is the best cure for sadness that I know.”
“Feeling insignificant isn’t exactly a great cure for unhappiness.”
“Hell yeah it is. When I look up into the night sky, I remember that I’m nothing but the ashes of long-dead stars. A human being is a collection of atoms that comes together into an ordered pattern for a brief period of time and then falls apart again. I find comfort in my smallness. The best thing the universe ever gave us is that we’ll all be forgotten.”
“Oh, come on. Nobody wants to be forgotten.”
Grace leaned back again and looked up at the sky. My spine shuddered slightly as I watched her.
“I kinda like the idea,” she said. “That when we die, despite any pain or fear or embarrassment we experienced during our lives, despite any heartbreak or grief, we get to be dispersed back into nothingness. It makes me feel brave, knowing I’ll get a blank slate at the end. You get a brief glimmer of consciousness to do with what you will and then it’s given back to the universe again. I’m not religious, but even I can appreciate that that’s redemption, on the grandest scale. Oblivion isn’t scary; it’s the closest thing to genuine absolution of sin that I can imagine.”‘
I’m trying to think of the best words to describe the last 4 hours of my life. This book was incredible. Over the last few months I’ve picked up random books from various places, my friends house, charity shops, supermarkets, and when I’m really letting myself go, Waterstones. All the books have been different and unique in their own way, Pax for example, a beloved children’s book that will break any childs heart – if they could only understand the feeling of loss in one so young, Florence Grace and Amy Snow, both extraordinary historical fiction that I fell in love with to the Island of Secrets – a story primarily about WWII that I surprised myself in liking as I usually avoid these kinds of books due to the violence and horror of humankind.
Our Chemical Hearts has reached my favourites shelf and I can’t express how. It’s just brilliant. The humour, the friendships, the heartbreak, the loss – it’s all there compiled in a wonderfully written jewel by Krystal Sutherland.
It’s a story about Henry Page, a lanky, thin teenage boy with a lively comical laid-back family, his entertaining best friends Murray and Lola and his eager endeavor of becoming senior editor for the school newspaper. His life changes when a pretty new girl, Grace Town, comes into drama class late with her unusual appearance of being unwashed and wearing men’s clothing whilst limping on a cane. Unusual enough for Henry to take notice immediately.
When Henry and Grace are both called into Mr Hinks office after school, Henry gets a surprise to find that they are both accepted for the position of senior editor for the paper – together. When Grace turns down the opportunity before Mr Hink even finishes offering the position, Henry is angry and confronts her afterwards as to why she would pass up an opportunity as huge as this. When she simply responds that she doesn’t write anymore but later on accepts the role as his assistant editor so he can fulfill his dream, it only draws him in more to the mystery that is Grace Town.
Henry is transfixed on new confusing emotions he has for this new person who appears in his life and can’t help but convince himself that they are meant to be, that an unknown force is pulling them towards eachother. He needs to know more about this puzzling strange girl and what happened to her in the last 3 months to change her from the popular carefree happy girl in her facebook photos, to the one standing before him with a cane for her injured leg and the hot cold personality that he can’t quite keep up with.
Their relationship gave off warning signals at the start, but Henry is determined to put the broken pieces of her back together, that is, until he discovers the truth when he gets let into her home. After all, you can tell a lot about a person from their bedroom..
‘Grace Town was a chemical explosion inside my heart. She was a star that’d gone supernova. For a few fleeting moments there was light and heat and pain, brighter than a galaxy, and in her wake she left nothing but darkness. But the death of stars provides the building blocks of life. We’re all made of star stuff. We’re all made of Grace Town’
The book is filled with easygoing characters with a humorous informal read that will have you laughing out loud on more than one occasion. Their relationships with eachother, families and friendships, are brilliant the more you get to know them. I feel the only downside is that you don’t get to spend too much time getting to know the characters besides Henry. Sometimes I felt that the characters were rushed that you don’t get to enjoy the full impact that they have on Henry’s life and the connections he has with them all and individually.
I absolutely adored his parents and how energetic they were throughout the book. I particularly liked when they dressed up like Vulcans from Star Trek when they knew Henry was bringing a girl home for the first time. Parental goals right there!
‘”You know, I tell people that you’re cool and then you consistently manage to make me look like a delusional liar.”
“You tell people we’re cool?” said Mom. “Well, beam me up, Scotty!”
“We don’t need his approval,” said Dad. “I already know we’re the most illogical Vulcans in town.”
“Oh my good God. Grace, please, move away from them slowly.”
“Later, gators,” said Dad as I took Grace’s hand and dragged her away from them.’
I don’t want to give too much away as I would definitely recommend this book to others and I want all readers to enjoy this story as much as I did.
I’m very keen to read her other book ‘A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares’. I’ve now added it to my to-read list!
“Don’t mourn a failed love; there’s no such thing. All love is equal in the brain”
‘John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.
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.