I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads | Book Depository
The blurb’s comparison to Rainbow Rowell and John Green is spot on. Our Chemical Hearts helps to fill that hole but also has its own unique take on this type of contemporary YA.
The narrator, Henry, is definitely one of the strongest things about the book. He is equal parts hilarious and sweet and honestly it was nice to just have the perspective of a normal guy. He isn't a male “special snowflake”; he's just your everyday guy who isn't perfect but is great all the same. I also liked Henry’s parents and how Henry comes to the realisation that not every relationship is as perfect as it may seem through them.
Our Chemical Hearts focuses a lot on grief and whilst it has its sad moments it's also hopeful. It beautifully explores the experience of first love and how you can so easily find yourself falling for someone without necessarily being able to explain why. It captures that obsessive all-consuming feeling that can come with a new relationship in a way that is both funny and heart-warming. I did have moments of frustration with Henry and his obsessiveness with Grace as well as Grace and her treatment of Henry. Their relationship felt very toxic at times but I think that's part of the overall message. The flip between laugh-out-loud moments and deeper reflections on grief worked really well together to create a story that I couldn't help but fly through.
I also have to give kudos to the “dating powerpoint” which I just absolutely loved. You can get me every time with nerdy things like that! The Harry Potter discussion and subsequent outrage at someone not having read the books also had me laughing out loud. I've had many similar discussions myself and feel Henry’s pain!
Overall, I really enjoyed this debut by Krystal Sutherland. If you're looking for a touching story with a witty narrator then this is the book for you.