C.G. Drews's Reviews > Our Chemical Hearts

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, aussie-authors, contemporary, read-2017, ya-male-narrators, young-adult

This book is so messed up and hence I love it. I'm actually really proud of me because I picked it up on a SUPER WHIM after having owned it on my TBR for like...a year? No really. I won it when it first came out. But anyway. I didn't really know what it was about, but it is not (as I first suspected) either about (a) cute fluffy fish, or (b) fanfic for My Chemical Romance. Startling information.

It's basically a story about what love is and poisonous relationships. And a lot of time I found myself reading and going "this is so messed up and I'm not enjoying this" and I was going to rate it 3-stars. But you know what? When the heck were books supposed to be full of characters making good decisions?? Because real life ain't like that. And I quite liked the conclusions everyone came to at the end, regarding the very poisonous relationship of Henry (our narrator) and Grace.

I also laughed. A LOT. It's like paying homage to the internet all the time!! The dialogue was so funny I kind of snorted out loud and lost 4% of my dignity. But it was for a good cause.

Henry was entirely adorkable. He was so funny, witty, and stupid and happy. I actually like reading about the flippant frolicsome boys on occasion?! He's a breath of fresh air! He is also such an idiot when it comes to romance that I wanted to slap him with a wet noodle. Also he burns a book at one stage and I'm not going to forgive him. But anyway. While I hated him for literally ever interaction with Grace, I think he was super well written and enjoyable. Like no joke, take out Grace from this book and it would've been perfect. HAR HAR. Okay and pointless but whatever.

• it kind of plays with a few tropes to be funny but I think it wasn't funny. Like Henry's best friend, Lola, is a lesbian but they joke that she kissed Henry and then came out as queer. It's a JOKE and Henry rebuffs it later. But IDK, mate. Sometimes just leave problematic jokes alone?
• Speaking of me just saying "Mate" ironically...there is an Aussie character who is SO CLICHE IT'S PAINFUL. He's written to be like that and he's like intentionally being a huge Aussie stereotype. But the author is frikkin Aussie!! Also why is this book all about Americans when the author is Aussie!!
• There are a LOT of long soliloquies on love at the end and they felt entirely unrealistically said. Like people don't just sit down and bust out so many truths so eloquently.
• Speaking of busting out truths: Grace (who we've established, is an eggplant of distaste) is all up at Henry for wanting to write out his thoughts instead of give them "raw and true" and I call the BS. It is not a failing of you as a human if you cannot speak as well as you can write. BUT THEN GRACE WAS A PILE OF BS SO I THINK WE'VE ESTABLISHED THIS.
• Henry at one point SAYS that he loves the Grace in his imagination, not the true messed up Grace. And I just don't think teenage boys are so self aware. I have a brother, ok. He used to deny that he smelled and like...mate.

A smol note on Grace, however. I'm ranting, but like I GET IT. She was suffering. She has a Tragic Backstory™ and she needed help and as much as I'm calling her an egg, she was very well written...but just full shout here: there is literally no excuse in the world ever that your pain gives you rights to hurt other people. It's just a solid No™ from me. (view spoiler)

ANYWAY! Long and rambly review to say, this book is about teenagers who are hot messes and I quite enjoyed it. Henry, Lola, and Murray's friendship was phenomenal. Henry has hilarious and awesome parents. The dialogue and witty banter IS SO GOOD I CAN'T EVEN. The ending is just right. And it manages to both be lighthearted and painfully serious at the same time.

Also the cover lies. There are not 6 fish in this book. There are 2 and one of them is murdered. (Unless you count the trip to the fishpond and I don't.)
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Reading Progress

August 28, 2017 – Started Reading
August 28, 2017 – Shelved
August 28, 2017 –
page 101
31.56% "In a surprising turn of events this is not, in fact, My Chemical Romance fanfic."
August 28, 2017 –
page 168
52.5% ""This is the point where you say something smooth to seduce me."
"If you were a carrot, you'd be a good carrot?"

August 28, 2017 – Shelved as: 4-star
August 28, 2017 – Shelved as: aussie-authors
August 28, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
August 28, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
August 28, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators
August 28, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
August 28, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Schly (new) - added it

Schly Love that cover!

message 2: by Hayli (new) - added it

Hayli Great review! Only slightly confusing. 😄

Sarahxox I just couldn't stand the way Grace treated Henry. Despite her backstory, I think she had no excuse. But the concept that this is a book where the protagonists don't always make the right (ethical?) choices is quite original.

Heather Totally agree with you, Sarahxox, about your views on Grace. She absolutely annoyed me.

C.G. Drews @Schly: It's pretty nice!

@Hayli: The review is confusing?

C.G. Drews @Sarahxox: Oh I THOROUGHLY agree! And that's what I said in my review: no matter how hurt you are, you never never have an excuse to treat people like utter crap. Grace genuinely was emotionally abusing Henry and he just thought that's what "true love" had to be. It was horrible. However I do think that was the point of the story, since the ending was all about that exact thing.

georgia henry is my baby

C.G. Drews @Georgia: he is a precious cinnamon

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