Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland | Book Review

January 14, 2018

No specific reason I bought this novel. -_-' Just because the book was arranged on the same rack as I Believe in a Thing Called Love. Oh maybe the geometric cover of the book is captivating? Haha. Actually the cover is a new version as I have seen the previous cover of this title. 

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Pages: 313
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: October 2016


It is about Henry Page who is still a virgin at 17 years old and finally become interested into a girl when he gets to know a new girl in his school, Grace Town. Grace is not a typical heroin when she does not appear fashionable, beautiful etc. Instead, she wears oversized boys' clothes and even use a cane to walk. They are connected to each other after they are assigned as school magazine editors.

Henry tries to get to know her and slowly her secrets are revealed. 

Can Henry accept Grace the way she is now, with all the broken pieces of her?
Can Grace accept Henry in the condition she is stuck in?

And what are actually the reasons behind Grace walking with a cane and the mysteries evolve around her?

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Back side of the book with the synopsis


Honestly, it took me a while to finally finish reading the book. It is not because the story line is not good but personally it is a heart breaking story. T_T I need to rest a bit before indulging more into the reasons of Grace behaving like a mysterious person and to slowly accept the fact that my heart is slowly torn. 

Beautiful story of unrequited love.

Sorry I am spoiling the plot. I feel very sad as I read the final chapter of the book. 

1. "And all the while I loved her, just as she loved him. In secret, between the shadow and the soul." - Henry

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
"It's beautiful." - Henry
"It's sad, I think. Not beautiful." - Grace

This is a poem by Pablo Neruda, shown quite early in the novel when Henry and Grace have different perspective towards those verses. 

"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, 
in secret, between the shadow and the soul."

The poem is replayed quite few times through out the book (if I am not mistaken) and it actually represents the feeling of Grace at that time. Grace changed into someone different after the incident happened to her turning her life upside down, like totally hundred and eighty degrees. T_T

Do you feel sad when you read the poem? Or happy?

2. Describe yourselves.

Grace is artistic with her words, so do Henry. If we refer to the title of the book, Our Chemical Hearts, we will understand better the title is beautifully describing the story between them.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
"Don't you find it strange that whenever anyone asks you to describe yourself, you draw a blank?"

I nodded when I read this line. Exactly.

Sometimes we don't even understand ourselves and that's maybe why we can't easily describe us. Or simply as what Henry said, "There's a lot to cover."

3. Words - speaking or writing?

Both of them are excellent in writing. But in this novel, it portrays the reason why Grace stopped writing and expresses herself more via speech - when she's speaking with Henry of course.

Some of us are blessed with high confidence level in front of people - to actually give speech. Meanwhile some others are better in confidence via written words. Anyhow, both are still important to live a life, I think? You can't speak via written words when you are on the phone or in any interviews. And you can't talk when you actually need to write an essay. Right?

"You lose the rawness, the truth of who you are if you pass everything through a screen first." - Grace

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
'Struggle to get the exact message'

So, which one are you - public speaking or writing? 
I am on Henry's team. :D

4. Henry's Drafts

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
'a hymn in the web of your veins' wow

No wonder Henry is assigned to edit the magazine, look how beautiful his choices of words!

I love reading poems though most of the times I look forward to stories behind them to understand more. I love quotes even though they can only be my favourite based on my emotions at that time. I love beautiful verses as they can leave permanent spots in my heart (even though they will make me cringe most of the time hahaha)

5. "You're wounded right now, but you'll heal."

In this novel, you'll be amazed with how supportive people around Henry - his parents, his sister - Sadie, his loyal friends - Murray and Lola etc.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
"Have you ever really been happy with her? - Sadie asked Henry

Time will heal the wound - any kinds of wound. Not to permanently erase as wounds always leave scars - but, time will help people to adapt to the changes afterwards. Beautifully. 


If you expect a happy ending, read the novel to judge yourselves. Hehe. 

My rating: ★★★★☆

SS, Perak, Malaysia

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