Thanks to Penguin for sending me this to review because I don't think I would have picked it up otherwise. I'm not usually a massive fan of books told by a male perspective, I just don't usually find the book relatable, however this is a big exception. I found this book to be not only beautifully written, but also realistic as any first love is.
"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." - Goodreads
CHARACTERS: The main character, and narrator, Henry is a great perspective to read from and I found him quite relatable. He is young and falling in love for the first time and I found it beautiful to read his words during what is a tough time for him. I love Henry's open mind and willingness to let anyone into his world, including Grace who can be difficult at times.
Grace is an interesting character to read about, yet I loved how we found out more about her and her past as the story unfolded. She has obviously been through a lot over the last year as we learn, and although this has affected her a lot, she still acts as a fun and bubbly character, especially when she is around Henry. Henry allows Grace to open up and I loved reading about their relationship and it's ups and downs throughout the book. It was a realistic romance and that's what I loved about it.
PLOT/STORY LINE: Although there were a lot of ups and downs in the story line such as Henry and Grace's relationship, discovering Grace's past, and Henry growing up and falling in love for the first time, the overall story line was pretty simple. It was easy to follow and I didn't feel bombarded with a whole lot of drama and story. Sutherland did a beautiful job telling the story of Henry both in her writing style, character development, and the events that occurred throughout the book. I didn't find anything predictable and the book was such a page turner - I managed to finish it in two days which surprised me considering I've been in a bit of a reading slump for a few weeks. Our Chemical Hearts definitely brought me out of that and I am back in the reading world once again.
ENDING: Yes... the ending was emotional and somewhat tragic, but it was realistic and that's what I loved most about it. I read the very last page of the book and felt shivers up my spine and goose bumps on my arms. It was sad and beautiful and relatable and realistic and everything it should have been. It wrapped up the book perfectly and represented the story of real first loves.
RATING: I have decided to give this book a perfect 5 stars. The characters were beautifully written and I loved reading from Henry's perspective, the plot kept me on my toes, and the ending gave me chills. I didn't expect such a great reading experience considering it was an arc that was sent to me that I have never heard about before. But I am so glad that I picked it up and I hope that everyone else decides to do the same.
I will be meeting the author at a Dymock's event on Wednesday and I cannot wait! A blog post will be up soon.
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