Krystal Sutherland – Our Chemical Hearts

This book has been sitting on my shelf for 2 years, never quite making it to the top of my to-read list. But since I found myself with 6 days to read 6 books if I want to achieve my reading target of 60 books for this year, I picked this one up as it looked like a fairly easy and comparatively short read.

Unfortunately, I kind of feel like I wasted a whole day of reading on this book. While it kept me turning the pages and wanting to read further, it just all felt a bit futile. Henry, the main character, is in love with a girl who is clearly having mental health problems following the death of her previous boyfriend, but he continues pursuing her anyway, as he’s convinced it’s true love.

All I could think was that the poor girl needs friends and support, not some boy taking advantage of her. I mean, I guess ‘the boy’, Henry, actually seemed to be a fairly decent guy, even though he seemed to completely let his friends down all for the sake of Grace. Apparently, he’s worked his entire high school life to be editor of the school paper, and then when he gets it, he throws it all away.

I did find myself strangely drawn to Grace. It takes a long time for the story to unravel and for us to figure out why she acts the way she does, and that story did pull at my heart-strings. A lot of young adult books deal with death, but it’s usually slow and lingering (a la The Fault in Our Stars), not sudden and unexpected like this.

But as with Henry, I found myself wanting to shake her at times as her character could just be so infuriating. A little bit shallow for me. I think perhaps I would have preferred if we’d had some chapters from her point of view to delve deeper into her emotions.

Overall, I’ve only given this book 2/5, which is mainly for my enjoyment of the book rather than the quality of the writing or anything – judging by the reviews on Goodreads, there are many many people who find this book a lot more heart-rending than I did.

My rating: 2Average rating: 3.82
320 pages. Published in: 2016
Read in Paperbackon 26th December 2018

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