Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland (2016)
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Reading Time: 19/01/17 – 24/01/17
This book was hauntingly realistic in its message, we cannot hold onto those who don’t love us, it will only rip us apart.
Poor Henry has fallen for Grace, but she is no position to fall for him. As a reader we see him getting pushed under the bus of feels a whole lot of times. The poor guy is always still standing though, I don’t know how!
*Spoilers beyond this sentence*
As someone who has experienced the ache of loosing someone I love very recently I can say that this novel was at times tricky to get through. I go to reading as an escape, but this reminded me far too often of the love I had lost when I saw Henry’s pain. So yes, I am going bare for this review, I am a hurting person and this book tried tackled the hurt.
Throughout this whole novel we are seeing Grace give Henry hope and then rip it away, she is a cow and she needs to leave him alone. Lucky for Henry he has two great friends to pick him back up when he needs it, but sometimes this just can’t cut it. Grace seems to have found her way into Henry’s friend group too, she is in a lot of different parts of his life, which of course makes it even harder for him to forget her.
There are two issues tackled here, that of a partner passing away and that of loosing someone you loved through their own choice. Only the later of which I have experienced, so I can’t comment entirely first hand on this. Grace’s loss is something I can’t even imagine and the way it is gradually introduced how deep her relationship with Dom went was very clever and saddening. She is obviously going through so much in her mind and has no one to truly be able to talk about it with, she has lost her lobster and nothing will make that better. Henry is loosing someone who is right in-front of him, someone who he knows is choosing (kind of ) not to be with him. These are two different stories that are pushed together.
For me the most important part of this story was at the end when Henry’s sister talked to him about loss and love and getting over someone. I tried to read her words as part of the story, but I also made a note of them as advice for myself. I left this book feeling thoughtful to my own situation, which at the moment is not something I want. But I also left it with a tiny bit more of a positive attitude.
In books we are not alone and that was clear to me during this read. There is a massive sense of community in this book and it ignores the usual school tropes. No one is bullied or segregated because of their social standing, it was refreshing. I kept expecting myself to see the divide in the students, but they all remained friends throughout, which was nice to see.
To conclude, I am not sure where I stand with this book. It was an escape, an addictive read and it offered advice, so it receives a four star review.