Our Chemical Hearts
Henry hasn’t experienced love yet, despite being an apparently hormonal teenage boy. He doesn’t know what love at first sight is and he doesn’t experience it, but he certainly gets hit with First Love and all its heartbreaking splendors.
I liked Henry’s self-awareness and his relationships with his friends. His friends are always willing to pick him up (unless they are also lying down) and there is a happy dynamic that makes the plot feel more real. Sure, the ‘Australian’ bloke is bloody caricaturish, but that’s pretty typical.
This plot may have you wanting to weep at times, simply from the sad truth or perhaps Henry’s determination to make a mess of things! I felt myself stepping quietly into the world and being able to take note of every small detail that the author painstakingly included.
The laugh out loud moments here made me think of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl or The Haters as did the tongue-in-cheek perspective of the narrator. But this novel is much more polished and relatable in my opinion, perhaps because I took a particular liking to Grace Town and her eccentricities.
I’ve given it 5 stars, but then 4, because I couldn’t decide. I did really love reading it, but I’m not sure I’ll reread it. There just isn’t enough depth for me, and despite liking Grace, that isn’t enough for me to use my time on it again (with so much else to read!) Don’t let that put you off, I think this is a great addition to Young Adult fiction, and a pretty good Christmas gift.
Penguin Random House | 4 October 2016 | $19.99 | Paperback