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Our Chemical Hearts
Cover of Our Chemical Hearts
Our Chemical Hearts
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John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again. Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a...
John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again. Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a...
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  • John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.

    Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can't-eat-can't-sleep kind of love that he's been hoping for just hasn't been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he's been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything's about to change.

    Grace isn't who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys' clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It's obvious there's something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn't your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland's brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.
    From the Hardcover edition.
 

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  • From the cover

    CHAPTER 1

    I ALWAYS THOUGHT the moment you met the great love of your life would be more like the movies. Not exactly like the movies, obviously, with the slow-mo and the hair blowing in the breeze and the swelling instrumental soundtrack. But I at least thought there would be something, you know? A skipped beat of the heart. A tug at your soul where something inside you goes, "Holy shit. There she is. Finally, after all this time, there she is."

    There was none of that when Grace Town walked into Mrs. Beady's afternoon drama class ten minutes late on the second Tuesday of senior year. Grace was the type of person who made an impression on any room she walked into, but not for the kind of reasons that generate instant and undying affection. She was of average height and average build and average attractiveness, all things that should've made it easy for her to assimilate into a new high school without any of the dramatic tropes that usually inhabit such storylines.

    But three things about Grace immediately stood out, before her ordinariness could save her:

    1. Grace was dressed head to toe in guys' clothing. Not the tomboy, skater-girl kind of look, either, but legitimate dudes' clothing that was way too big for her. Jeans that were meant to be skinny were held on her hips by a belt. Despite it being only mid-September, she wore a sweater and a checkered shirt and a knit cap, and a long leather necklace with an anchor on the end.

    2. Grace looked unclean and unhealthy. I mean, I'd seen junkies that looked in better shape than she did that morning. (I hadn't really seen that many junkies, but I'd seen The Wire and Breaking Bad, which totally counts.) Her blond hair wasn't brushed and was badly cut, her skin was sallow, and I'm almost certain if I'd smelled her at any point during that day, she would've reeked.

    3. If all this wasn't enough to really screw over her chances of fitting in at a new high school, Grace Town walked with a cane.

    And that's how it happened. That's how I first saw her. There was no slow-mo, no breeze, no soundtrack, and definitely no skipped heartbeats. Grace hobbled in ten minutes late, silently, like she owned the place, like she'd been in our class for years, and maybe because she was new or because she was weird or because the teacher could see simply by looking at her that a small part of her soul was cracked, Mrs. Beady said nothing. Grace sat on a chair at the back of the black-walled drama room, her cane resting across her thighs, and said nothing to anybody for the entire class.

    I looked at her twice more, but by the end of class I'd forgotten she was there, and she slipped out without anyone noticing.

    So this is certainly not a story of love at first sight.

    But it is a love story.

    Well.

    Kind of.


    CHAPTER 2

    THE FIRST WEEK of senior year, before Grace Town's sudden apparition, had passed by as uneventfully as high school possibly can. There'd been only three minor scandals thus far: a junior had been suspended for smoking in the girls' bathroom (if you're going to get suspended for something, at least make it something not cliché), an anonymous suspect had uploaded footage of an after-school fight in the parking lot to YouTube (the administration was freaking out over that one), and there were rumors going around that Chance Osenberg and Billy Costa had given each other an STD after having unprotected sex with the same girl (I wish I was making this up, dear readers).

    My life had remained, as always, entirely scandal-free. I was seventeen years old, a weird, lanky kid,...

About the Author-

  • Krystal Sutherland was born and raised in Townsville, Australia, a place that has never experienced winter. Since then she's lived in Sydney, where she edited her university's student magazine; Amsterdam, where she worked as a foreign correspondent; and Hong Kong. She has no pets and no children, but is fond of naming inanimate objects: in the Netherlands she owned a Dutch bicycle called Kim Kardashian, and a small, inflatable velociraptor called Herbert. Our Chemical Hearts is her debut novel.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 1, 2016
    Anyone who has felt the ache of first love will relate to Henry Page, a bookish high school senior unexpectedly swept off his feet. Henry, who has never had a girlfriend, isn’t immediately attracted to new student Grace Town, who enters the school with a conspicuous limp, “dressed head to toe in guys’ clothing” (“I’d seen junkies that looked in better shape than she did that morning,” Henry says). Yet after Grace and Henry are asked to co-edit the school newspaper, his interest in her grows, fueled by Grace’s on-again-off-again flirting. As romance blossoms, secrets about Grace’s past and current situation emerge, and Henry begins to think that Grace may be beyond his help. Eloquently conveying the complexity of love and grief, debut novelist Sutherland creates a story filled with intriguing and memorable characters. Henry’s quirky friends, dry-witted parents, and rebel-turned-neuroscientist sister (who offers sage advice on matters of the heart) add touches of brightness to this dark romance. Ages 14–up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, Inkwell Management.

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