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  • Published: 18 October 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761048760
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

Our Chemical Hearts

An irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again. A new edition of the brilliant debut YA novel by the New York Times bestselling author of House of Hollow, Krystal Sutherland.

A brilliant novel from the New York Times bestselling author of House of Hollow and A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares 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.

'Irresistible, romantic and heartbreaking, Sutherland’s debut will have huge appeal to readers of John Green and Jennifer Niven.' The Bookseller

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.

  • Published: 18 October 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761048760
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Krystal Sutherland

Krystal Sutherland is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of House of Hollow, A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares and Our Chemical Hearts, which was adapted into a film by Amazon Studios. Her books have been published in more than twenty countries and nominated for the Carnegie Medal and YA Book Prize, among others. Originally from Australia, she has lived on four continents and currently calls London home.

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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


The ups and downs of Henry and Grace’s relationship will give students a genuine portrait of what it is like to be drawn to someone who may not be good for you but who will teach you something about yourself and others. VERDICT Despite occasional false notes, this book delves far deeper than the typical high school romance, and its savvy wordplay and Henry’s self-deprecating charm will win over fans of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

Sara Scribner, Athens Academy, GA, School Library Journal

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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Teachers' notes