Analee (Book Snacks)'s Reviews > Our Chemical Hearts

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
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it was ok
bookshelves: audiobook, contemporary, read-in-2018, 2016-october-releases, 2-stars

Ahhhh okay where do I start. Not gonna lie, this was suuuuper disappointing. I really enjoyed A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares and so I was looking forward to reading this one (although I decided to pick it up on a whim through my library's audiobook selection). And I still can't say exactly, whether it's the audiobook or it was the book? I'm going to settle for a mix of both as a reason for my unhappiness with this book.

- Henry?? Was?? So?? Annoying?? I didn't mind the narrator's voice for Henry, thankfully (the problem arises for Grace, the love interest), I actually liked it well enough so the problem in this case is HENRY. Agh. I was just SO DONE with him. His only redeeming parts is his love for HP and reaction to hearing Grace hasn't read it, the times he made me smile or chuckle because #yes for humour (and even then I'm not 100% sure if it's cause of him or Lola) aaaand the ending because he finally WOKE THE HELL UP. But aside from that, I couldn't connect with him at all and was so tired of him.

Which seems to be an unpopular opinion!! Most people really loved him!! And I get it, he's kind of naive, but I could see him as being realistic. Unfortunately, it didn't feel that way to me while reading and I was quite exasperated with him.

+ His friendship with Murray and Lola was the absolute best!!
- Murray's voice in the audiobook was sooooo cringey though can you not

- Grace was... agh. Felt like a huge Manic Pixie Dream Girl for sure, and I'm not really a fan of those? Of course as we got to know more about her she became more complex, but I think the issue was the fact that this was from Henry's POV and I was always left unsatisfied with her bc a) Henry's narration and nearly all interactions with her were sooooo annoying and b) we didn't focus on the aspects of her that I wanted to??
-- I also was super annoyed with her voice in the audiobook narration, it was just so awful to me. So holier-than-thou and indifferent, and that definitely made things 10 times worse. But I also generally wasn't a fan of Grace Town. I did feel bad for her of course but also was done with her throughout the story??

- See the thing is, this is a very character driven story. If there was a semblance of a plot, I wouldn't be able to tell you because it was so minimal and I also didn't care. And see, if you don't like the characters in a book ALL ABOUT the characters and the lessons they learn and whatnot, you're not going to like the book, you know?

I love herrrr.

+ The writing was really lovely!! I actually really enjoyed it. Because I was listening to an audiobook it was definitely a different experience, but I actually also had a physical copy that I would use sometimes and just listening to her writing was really good. :)

+/- I did like the ending!! (And not just cause the book ended, though that may have been a part of it) But it was wrapped up reaaaally nicely and I was pretty satisfied (view spoiler). Buuuut at the same time it just felt like it took TOO LONG to get there, at that point I was glad it happened but it didn't help to salvage the characters or get me to root for them very much? Too little, too late.

Overall: This wasn't a BAD book. And maybe I'm being too harsh? But honestly, this book was just not my thing, which is odd because usually I would love this kind of book. But I just didn't love the characters, although I appreciated the messiness and realism, it made me unable to truly connect or like them and hence I didn't care very much about the book. Sadly.
I'm definitely not writing off this author, I did love her second novel but this one just didn't do it for me!

Read if you like: tragic love interests, Manic Pixie Dream Girl-esque character, relatively innocent narrators or more messy/bittersweet contemporaries. :)

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Reading Progress

June 13, 2016 – Shelved
January 24, 2018 – Started Reading
January 24, 2018 – 0.0% "I'm currently listening to an audiobook of this from the library and have no idea what page I'm on lol. But I don't EVER use audiobooks. Like ever. I've always wanted to get into them because they're so useful for multitasking but I'm more of a physical reader person? That being said, I don't completely hate listening to this! I'd rather read the book myself but it's alright. Not hugely loving the characters though!"
January 24, 2018 –
page 72
"I think?? But anyway, this is not awful but at the same time I think I could enjoy it a lot more if I was reading it myself because rn, I'm just not a fan of Grace's voice by the narrator (Henry's fine tho) and I just can't root for the romance at all. I'm not sure if it's cause of the audiobook or just cause in general it's not very shippable? We'll see! I might borrow the physical book and read that though."
January 25, 2018 –
page 164
"Going strong with the audiobook! I may have accidentally dozed off though at one point. I'm still not a fan of Grace's narration or her character, but meh. I do like Henry's parents though!"
January 26, 2018 –
page 285
"I'm so tired of Henry's character"
January 26, 2018 – Finished Reading

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