arc review – our chemical hearts


our chemical hearts by krystal sutherland

release dare – september 4th, 2016

genre – ya contemporary romance

publisher / imprint – g.p. putnam’s sons books

preorder here – amazon | barnes and noble | book depository

source – received arc from b-fest

summary (from goodreads) –

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.

*thank you to my local barnes and noble for having b-fest and how i received an opportunity to grab this copy and other books for free at the time. receiving the book did not influence this review. my opinions and thoughts are all on the book. my review contains a few quotes from the copy that the publisher permitted us to do if we were to quote from the book.*

dnf at 65%

i sadly had to dnf our chemical hearts even though i posted this tweet on twitter showing how much i loved the book.

THIS BOOK!! I’m loving this book already. This chapter has hit me hard and makes me so happy now!

— Ryan (@RyanBada) June 14, 2016

so i happened to tweet this out by the time i read about 100 pages of the book, great so far. it want me to read more. and then by the next 100 pages, i stopped because i didn’t want to keep reading (which is the point of a dnf) after what was happening in the story. so what did made me stop reading our chemical hearts? but let’s start off with what was enjoyable.

“‘you understand that you’re missing our on a lot of awesome stuff by choosing to be that way, though, right? sometimes you don’t know things are going to be extraordinary until they are.'” (page 60)

i was surprised with seeing diverse characters play out in the book: an australian and an asian lesbian. i liked in the book-well at least how far i’ve gotten-that the author didn’t overuse the fact that they are people of color, except the use of australian slang-which, i thought that it wasn’t necessary to show off that he is australian. other than australian slang, there weren’t any other stereotypes used to display their diversity in a cliche way.

our chemical hearts is totally recommended for those who love john green. though i have not read any of his books, my friend did read his books and from what she told me, our chemical hearts has one of the factors that john green uses in his novels. like the fact that it contained the manic-pixie-dream-girl trope in one chapter, a trope i never get tired reading about and makes me want to read more. this is actually why i tweeted out that i loved the book.

“”grace snorted. ‘look up at that, henry. look up at that, honestly, and tell me you believe that our lives are anything more than a ridiculous cascade of random chances. a cloud of dust and gas forms our planet, a chemical reaction creates life, and then all of our cavemen ancestors live just long enough to bone each other before they die awful deaths. the universe is not the magical place people paint it as, it’s excruciatingly beautiful, but there’s no magic there, just science.'” (page 61)

the romance in the story between the two main characters-henry and grace-was played out very well. i don’t have much to say about it but i just like the fact of how steady and progressive their relationship was. and even how much i chuckled a bit in the beginning of the story. i didn’t expect for that to happen but it did and it made me to keep reading this book.

so here it is. the reason i didn’t want to keep going.

the big main reason that i ended reading our chemical hearts is how it introduced these topics that was unexpected to be in the story. drinking and sex with first love? um…okay. i didn’t immediately stop reading at that point because it wasn’t a problem at the time. but the more i read after that, the more these topics became more involved with the relationship between the 2 main characters and that was when i draw the last straw. and also, the more i think about drinking and sex with first love, the more i dislike it, since it was learned that us, teenagers, should avoid drinking and sex for the sake of our health and our well-being in general at our age. so that kind of influenced the fact that i didn’t want to read about it anymore.

“‘forever, huh? you guys still together, then? 

‘as it turns out, forever is not as long as i thought it would be.'” (page 64)

i will recommend our chemical hearts for those john green fans who want to read a book from an author unfamiliar to them. i do suppose that john green books won’t be the best books i have read after reading this book and also the fact that i also dnf-ed the fault in our stars (that’ll be another story). but anyway, it was a light read that becomes more deeper as it progresses that these fans would want to keep going. but this book didn’t work out for me not because it has contained sex and alcoholism, but because they introduced it out of nowhere and becomes a center of attention later on.




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