Our Chemical Hearts


Henry Page has never had a crush on someone until Grace Town walks into his classroom in the second week of his senior year. With her oddly cut hair, mens’ clothing and cane, he doesn’t think too much about her until they are both offered the positions of editor for the school newspaper, a position which he has been working towards for years and which she turns down. After they leave the office Henry follows her down the road and demands to know why she would turn down the opportunity. The next morning she arrives in the newspapers editing office with no explanation as to her change of heart, and from here Henry become curious to know more about her and the life she leads.

Murray and Lola are Henry’s best friends and in my opinion, they were what made the book. I loved Henry and Grace, but Murray and Lola were just fantastic. Murray is an Australian who moved to America with his family several years ago, although he has picked up an American accent he still uses his, exaggerated, Australian one to impress women and generally drive Henry and Lola up the wall. Murray is not just used for comedic value though, he is everything a best friend should be in that he supports and encourages Henry with his feelings for Grace. Lola does the design aspects of the school newspaper and becomes friends with Grace during the time the three of them spend creating the paper. She is not afraid to tell Henry like it is, she puts him in his place and often has to bring him back to reality.

Henry is an honest and funny narrator, he can quote Harry Potter and only knows how to cook mini pizzas. Grace is a wonderful  and intriguing character, we know from the outset that things have happened to her in the past which have had a major effect on her, however she does not want to be defined by these things. Krystal Sutherland’s writing is wonderful, I admire anyone who can put “I looked something like a male Summer Glau crossed with Severus Snape” in a book! I would have picked this book up for the sentence alone.

As Henry and Grace’s relationship progresses we learn more about her, but we also see Henry learning more about himself. The characters in this book are flawed, even the ones who seem the most perfect, but that is what makes them real and what makes this book such a wonderful read.

4/5 stars

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