The fun thing about book talks and demos from publishers is that you get free advanced reader copies and “preview” a book before its actual release. In my case, however, I tend to read books well after I acquire them, so I think this book may already be published. That said, I want to provide a fair disclaimer that this is not the final proofed copy, so my review will not be complaining about any typos (which, for the record, I did not find).
I’m fairly picky about young adult novels that feature romance, so I was already going to be a tough crowd. But when I saw Goodreads call Krystal Sutherland’s Our Chemical Hearts “John Green meets Rainbow Rowell,” I grew worried. I’m not particularly a huge fan of either writer, and I felt Sutherland borrowed heavily from both without developing her own distinctive style.
The novel features Henry, a young awkward man about to enter his senior year in high school. He meets a new senior on the first day, when they are both summoned to become the editors of the school newspaper. She is odd, wearing oversized men’s clothing, a choppy haircut, and walking with a cane. But he is smitten. The novel follows their “disastrous” love story and the secrets that follow.
To put it mildly, this was not my taste. If you like Rainbow Rowell, you might like this book more than I did. But it just didn’t stand out in a way that made it distinctive from a lot of young adult fiction that’s already out there.
Cross-posted to my blog.