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About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143573906
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

Our Chemical Hearts

John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.

First love is an epic disaster

Henry Page has never been in love. The slo-mo, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been on the cards—at least not yet. Henry’s too busy trying to get into a semi-decent college and become editor of his school newspaper, a dream three years in the making. The rest of his spare time he spends with his best friends, Lola and Murray, playing video games and advising them on their own sordid love lives.

Then he meets Grace Town, the elusive new girl in school, who wears oversized boys’ clothing, walks with a cane, rarely seems to shower, and is hiding crushing secrets. She’s hardly who Henry expected his dream girl to be, but when the two are chosen to edit the paper together, sparks fly. After all this time, Henry’s about to learn firsthand just how disastrous the road to first love can be—and that sometimes it’s the detours that end up mattering much more.

A brilliant debut that is equal parts humour and heartbreak, Krystal Sutherland’s Our Chemical Hearts is a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

  • Pub date: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143573906
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Krystal Sutherland

Krystal Sutherland is the author of Our Chemical Hearts and A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares. She 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; Hong Kong; and London. In 2020 Amazon Prime is releasing a film adaptation of Our Chemical Hearts, starring Riverdale's Lili Reinhart, and directed by Richard Tanne.

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.

Also by Krystal Sutherland

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Praise for Our Chemical Hearts

“Eloquently conveying the complexity of love and grief, debut novelist Sutherland creates a story filled with intriguing and memorable characters”

Publishers Weekly

“Irresistible, romantic and heartbreaking, Sutherland’s debut will have huge appeal to readers of John Green and Jennifer Niven”

The Bookseller

“This YA novel about the joys and pains of first love has captured MY heart! Henry Page has lots to learn on the love front, and it's his bad luck (?) to have to learn it from the enigmatic, self-destructive Grace Town. I love the characters, love the dialogue (it's realistic and sharp without being pretentious) - I even love the less-than-perfect ending . . . You don't need to be a love-struck teen to enjoy it, though!”


“The characters speak with a John Green-esque voice, but they are never overbearingly precocious. Narrator Henry's a smartly rendered character, a decent kid who has goals and works hard to achieve them. His new goal is Grace's affection, and the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object that is Grace's emotional unavailability provides the novel some of its sharpest moments. When the walls tumble down, the connection between the two is clearly an unhealthy one, and the author pulls no punches, devastating Henry, Grace, and readers in equal measure. An emotionally engaging and draining debut”


“Our Chemical Hearts is a love story with a difference. It's not easy, it's not typical, and it's not the sort of love story that readers will be expecting, but it will resonate. Fans of Life in Outer Space, Words in Deep Blue, and contemporary YA in general, will enjoy this cast of characters and the world in which they live.”

Mands, The Bookish Manicurist

“Humour and heartache are close companions in this debut young adult love story and coming-of-age tale. Key turning points in the relationship ... are dealt with sensitivity and honesty. one to recommend to John Green devotees.”

Nola Allen, Magpies

Awards & Recognition

  • Indie Book Awards

    Shortlisted • 2017 • Young Adult

  • Readings Book Prize

    Shortlisted • 2017 • Young Adult

  • CBCA Book of the Year Awards

    Notable Book • 2017 • Older Readers

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