Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland + Post-Heartbreak Advice | BLOG TOUR

Title: Our Chemical Hearts
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Pages: 256 pages
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Source: ARC from Penguin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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.

Buy it now! 
**I received an advanced copy from the publisher for review. This has not affected my review in any way**  

As I sit here at 2:09 in the morning after finishing this book I think to myself, "what the fuck did I just read?" In a good way, of course, because sometimes you're going to have those moments when you've just arrived at the end but you never saw it coming! Our Chemical Hearts is a story about first love, friendship, obligation and even heartbreak.

For some reason, it took me quite a while to get into this book. But I have two perfectly good explanations as to why: 1) I had just finished Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo so I wasn't in any place to be reading contemporary and 2) I was comparing it too much to John Green's previous works.

JOHN GREEN? Now before you bring out your pitchforks and say "no one can compare to John Green", I swear on all the books on my bookshelf that this book will appeal to the John Green fans out there. My first thought in the first 50 pages was that it reminded me a lot of Paper Towns. I thought the main character, Henry Page, could have been Augustus Waters lifted off the pages of TFIOS and Grace Town could have been freakin' Margo from Paper Towns. Holy shit, now that I think of it, Grace's last name is Town. Maybe it's not a coincidence after all!

Besides the comparable characters, you could actually feel this John Green-vibe emanating from the pages of this book. The writing style was so similar, I often times found myself thinking I was reading a JG book. The writing was humorous with a side of sophistication and intelligence. Once again, all fingers point to JOHN GREEN!!

I think the thing that made this book so perfect was the fact that it was super relatable. Everyone (and I mean every single person in this freakin' world) can relate to this book because it's about how love is NOT perfect. If you've been reading YA for years (like me) that message tends to get lost in all the books we read. From every YA I've ever read, I've learned that there's always a happily ever after/prince waiting on the other side even if you have to fight a dragon, win the Hunger Games or defeat a power-hungry Erudite lady to get to it. Our Chemical Hearts basically dispels that whole stigma about love being this easily-attainable and wonderful thing. This book reveals the not-so-pretty and even awkward parts of love.

When I first read the synopsis to this book, I immediately assumed I wasn't going to like it. Do you want to know why? And I swear it's for the most horrible and terrible reason ever but trust me, we've all thought of it at some point. The reason was simply because the female character was described as the opposite of what we think is 'beautiful'. Now I don't know if it's because of all the YA books I've been reading or the TV I've been watching, but for some reason I have this ingrained image in my mind of what beauty is. In pretty much all the books I've read, female characters are skinny, gorgeous, blonde and model-status. But Grace, oh my, she seriously set standards for a new kind of beauty. She was dark, broody and not your average dream girl, but she was beautiful.

It's hard for me to admit that I wasn't going to like this book at first solely because of how a certain character was described, but that should paint a little picture as to how influenced and accustomed I've become to 'pretty characters' in books. Anyways, that's a different discussion for another day.

It's 2:41 am now, and I don't quite know why I'm still awake. All I do know is that you have to read this book. If it's not because it bears some semblance to John Green's writing, then it must be for the rude awakening it brings to the table. Our Chemical Hearts will change your perspective and it will screw with everything you've ever known. As this review comes to a conclusion, I hope you've noticed that I've decided to keep the plot points out of my thoughts. The main reason is because the story revolves around understanding the characters and to understand the characters, you have to read the book.

Our Chemical Hearts is the kind of book you stay up late for to find out what happens to the characters in the end. It's the kind of book you expect to make a huge impact on your life (ahem ahem cough cough just like John Green's!). It's the kind of book you recommend to people over and over again just to see their reaction.


Hello everyone! Welcome to my Our Chemical Hearts tour post!! The one thing I've gathered from reading this book is that first love is always disastrous. [And] Contrary to popular belief, I've actually experienced heartbreak before. Yeah that's right people! Booklovers aren't just the quiet people in the background. However, my first real relationship was now a thing of the past and I'm here to help all you lovelies still mourning over your first heartbreaks. 

1. Try the age old ritual: commence in singing some of T-Swizzle's most popular breakup songs 

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In any breakup, Taylor Swift will be your guide. She will hold your hand through the pain and empower you to get up and try again, only to get your heart broken once more. But seriously after I broke up with he-who-shall-not-be-named, I proceeded in listening to all of Swift's top hits. Among my Taylor Swift binge, Shake It Off was played on repeat the most. That song just makes me want to shake the shit out of my problems and take control of my life. Don't be a stranger, listen to some Taylor Swift! 

2. Think of your former significant other at their lowest 

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This one's actually pretty devious, not gonna lie. I'm trying to be brutally honest with this post because I actually want to help you survive this breakup. IF THIS HELPS: Every time you think of your ex, think about him/her pissing their pants in front of the whole school. That always makes me grin a little. Do this privately though. Don't go off making shallow comments about your ex! I'm not condoning going to war with your ex. 

3. Get drunk!

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Drink your problems away! (WARNING; I've actually never tried this option, duhh I'm underage, but I've heard that it works like a charm)

4. Read about some of the worst breakups in Hollywood

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Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. Ariana Grande and Big Sean. Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus. You've literally got an entire scroll to choose from. Trust me, someone out there has it worse than you. 

5. Hit that delete button

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Cut all ties! I REPEAT CUT ALL TIES! You don't want to be a Lingering Lauren. LOL I totally just made that nickname up. Point is, you don't want to be the girl/guy who's still hunger your ex. If you don't say goodbye sooner or later, you'll never leave room for growth and starting anew. 

6. Do something extraordinary

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Show your ex that he/she will have wished they'd never broken up with you. Give them something to sob over. Become a published author, set a world record, get an internship with a popular company, become Instagram famous, literally anything to make your ex seethe with anger over the fact that he/she didn't keep you close. For me, that was starting this blog and my Youtube Channel. 

7. Treat yo'self

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The method that I prefer! The day after I broke up with my ex, I bought a ton of books home with me. My parents didn't even question me! Go out and buy something that will make you feel better about the breakup, whether it be clothes, makeup, books or even food! 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | NON-SPOILER REVIEW

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 464 pages
Release Date: November 8th, 2016
Source: ARC from NYCC
Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult
Rating: 4.75/5 stars
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Preorder now! 
**DISCLAIMER: Please excuse the horrible grammar and word choice. It's 12 am, and I literally just finished this book about 20 minutes ago.**

I honestly don't know what I was expecting from this book other than that I would love it very much because of my past experiences with Meyer's books. This book was a hair away from receiving that golden 5 stars, except for a few things that were quite unsettling. Without a doubt, I highly enjoyed this book and it's yet another publication to add to Meyer's list of truly outstanding titles. 

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It was wrong of me to assume that Heartless would be anything like The Lunar Chronicles series, Meyer's first series. Going into the book, for some reason, I had this notion that I was going to get a character like Cinder, Cress, Scarlet or Winter. I was wrong. It was my mistake, after all! All of Meyer's female characters are completely different and unique, and I believe Catherine (the main female protag in this book) was a testament to that. Catherine was more of an anti-hero and that was definitely made clear in the end.

This book was much more light-hearted than the TLC series. I though the characters in the TLC series were solely focused on achieving that happily ever after status. They were on a mission! We had no idea what would happen next because the ending was in Meyer's hands. Whereas, in this book, Catherine's story/fate is set in stone and we (as the readers) are just sitting back and watching her story play out.

The one thing that really bothered me, however, was the intended age group. Heartless is labeled under Young Adult, but I have reason to believe this book would be better fitted under the middle grade category. There were very little serious romance scenes, like in The Lunar Chronicles, more just endless flirtation between the characters. The romance was also a little bit cheesy and Jest (the love interest to Catherine) lacked the snark I so dearly adored from the TLC boys. The names! Bye-the-bye, the names that were used for some of the characters were so childish and hilarious. I might be fought on this point, but I personally felt it would have been better suited under a middle grade genre. Thinking that this book was YA, I expected a lot from it and was firmly disappointed in that aspect.

Meyer really has a knack for writing retellings as they are done in such a unique way. She basically takes all the important symbolism from that story and puts her own spin to it. I really can't imagine her writing anything other than retellings! PLEASE MARISSA WRITE MORE. With that being said, I don't believe this is Meyer's most brilliant title, but I do push it on everyone who's enjoyed her past works, or for those who long for a unique retelling.

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The thing I found most brilliant about this book would have to be how well Meyer told the story. It must have been a huge risk to take a story as big as the Queen of Heart's and give it a beginning. Like goddamn it! I was so glad she didn't decide to straight-out write a retelling about Alice from Alice In Wonderland. We have so much about Alice and the Queen of Hearts is often neglected. We got a a perfectly logical explanation as to how the Queen of Hearts became who she is! I mean, someone such as she couldn't just have been born cold-hearted and brutal right? Meyer's explanation and backstory was simply flawless and just so endearing. You guys are going to love how it wraps up in the end! 

The world building was immense and beautiful and whimisical and fancy and ajsdkjkasdl. I'm a blubbering mess right now because the one thing that Marissa Meyer never fails in bringing, is the creation of a world. Everything was perfect, from the politics, to the hierarchy and magic! She really kept the magic of Wonderland alive in her retelling, which I thought to be the hardest task. 

Here's to another Marissa Meyer title that did not disappoint! 

And don't you worry your pretty little heads... Chesire does make an appearance! 

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Beast by Brie Spangler | DNF Review

Title: Beast
Author: Brie Spangler
Pages: 305 pages
Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Source: Hardcover from Penguin Teen
Genre: Contemporary, Glbt, Retellings, Young Adult
Rating: N/A
Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

Buy it now!
** I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has not affected my review.** 

LGBTQIA+ Beauty and the Beast retelling that's set in high school? Count me in! 

Looking back on other reviews for this book I feel like I'm the only one mentioning this, but the writing is super choppy. Don't get me wrong. I love short and to-the-point sentences just as much as the next person but there were so many periods on every page that I thought I was just going crazy or something. Here's a little excerpt:
"Everyday my hair is the same. Part it down the middle, comb it down so it covers as much of my face as possible, put the hat on. Mom hates my hair. It hangs in my face, she says. Hides my eyes. My hair is my thing." 

- pg. 2, Beast by Brie Spangler 
I tried giving it a few chapters but by the 100th page, I was done trying to force myself to finish the book. Despite not being able to finish it, I do commend the author for the inventive spin on the modern Beauty and the Beast classic. I thought the whole idea was fascinating, and I honestly got as far as I did because I was holding on to that idea. But because this is purely a DNF review, I want to be clear in why I didn't finish it.

  • In the book our main character Dylan is sent to a self-harm therapy group because his mom thinks he hurled himself off of a roof on purpose. I only read up to his first meeting with the group but from what I read so far, I was't impressed. Dylan was practically insensitive to everyone there, who actually had self-harmed. Yeah okay Dylan, I get that you're angry at your mom for sending you there but that doesn't mean you get to shit on other people who actually need the support. There was one 'self-harm' joke that was made that really hit me in the gut. It might not have been intended, but as someone who has self-harmed before it really made me sick to the stomach. Not only was the joke said in a mock-like tone, I thought it also validated a stereotype that is assumed with all self-harmers. Not all people that self-harm use razor blades or knives to cut themselves, okaayyyyy?? Self-harm is described as any action that is done to harm the surface of one's own body. 
"I want to laugh. Oh Gabrielle, take it from me. No one gives a flying shit how you really feel. Not your friends, not anyone."  

"'I don't hack myself up with razor blades,' I say"
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  • I get that this book is supposed to be a stab at bullying and judging people based on appearances. For a book that holds anti-bullying in such high esteem, I would have never expected there to be this entire excerpt of how the main character beat someone up because they owed him money. So Dylan basically finds it unfair how the world judges him on his appearance instead of getting to know him first because he's actually a smart guy, yet he goes around beating people up because they owed his friend, JP, money? And it actually made him feel really superior and good about himself. It kind of disgusted me. 
  • Yes, this book includes a transgender female character. That's the most fantastic thing ever! But before I mislead you, I just want to disclaim that I did not make it up to the part where it was revealed to Dylan that Jamie was actually transgender. From reading many (and I mean a whole shit-ton) reviews, I've heard that Dylan doesn't take finding out so well. A specific review states, "When someone points out that she's a trans girl, he flips out. He's cruel to her, smashes up his basement including the trains his father collected for him before he dided of cancer when the protagonist was young. The anger and hurt at being 'lied to' by trans people is SUCH a toxic meme that centering the experience of a cis dude getting angry and violent about a trans person's identity, EVEN THOUGH the book is clearly intending on him learning a 'lesson', is something I can't get behind." That being said, I wasn't looking forward to reading something that is the opposite of the reaction I was hoping from the main character. I didn't want to continue on... 
Maybe this book had a great ending. Maybe Dylan's character learned more about himself than I ever learned about him. Maybe the reviews I read were all wrong. I will never know because I DIDN'T FINISH THE BOOK. So before I get a ton of hate for not appreciating this book for what it is, I want you to know that this entire review is based off of the 124 pages I did, in fact, read. 

Just because I didn't enjoy this book, doesn't mean you won't. I feel like as reviewers, we are pushed to constantly repeat that line like a broken record. Please please please understand that people have different opinions, and I just didn't enjoy this book. 

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The Book's Buzz Adds Another To The Hive | Meet Our New CoBlogger

It's been two years and a half since I decided to take on this blog all by myself. Since then, I've recruited my friend Yingchao only a few months ago. But as of now with all the homework I've taken on and how much time I've been spending on Booktube, I decided that it was time to get even more helping hands.


I have been blogging less and less but that doesn't mean I've quit blogging! Blogging is where my roots in this book community are, and I'm not throwin' away my shot (huehuehue). The only thing I have been doing more is Booktube and Bookstagram. They've really taken up majority of my time, and it has barely left me with any creativity to write up long blog posts. I do hope that with the addition of my two wonderful co-bloggers, I can now manage all of what I do and channel my love into a really good post instead of goading myself to put something out there every single week. Please help me in welcoming our newest bumblebee to this hive, Selin! 

I've been talking to a lot of people on Twitter and Instagram, trying to find that one person who kind of has the same style as me but still values originality. Selin's personality really clicked with mine, and I found myself relating to everything she said. It was really incredible actually! We met on Booktube and hit if off from there. Without further ado, I'm going to let Selin take over and tell you a little bit about her...

  1. I have been doing jiu jitsu for 3 years and boxing/Muay Thai for 2 years. 
  2. I want to work in publishing and be a publicist when I'm older. 
  3. My goal is to be a full time author!
  4. I have 2 Siamese cats, who are probably the closest things I'll have to children XD. I love them soooooo much! 
  5. My favorite authors are Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas and V.E./Victoria Schwab! 
  6. I can't stand having a messy closet even though I'm not even a big clothes person. I'm not sure why, it's just a pet peeve. 
  7. I can't eat and read because I can taste the book I'm reading. Especially if it's an old book I can taste the 'oldness' and all the nasty things that have touched it.
  8. Math is my least favorite subject (me too - Alex). I secretly lose part of my soul when I walk into math class. 
  9. I am a HUGE believer in aliens. One day I'm going to hit up all the popular UFO sighting areas. 
  10. I'm one of those people who are obsessed with drinking water! I make sure all my friends drink enough water in their day. 

 Hey guys, it's Selin! I'm really excited to be blogger now! Although, I love my BookTube channel dearly, I wanted to venture into blogging. Sometimes I actually feel like I can express myself better through the written word rather than speaking!
I can't wait to get to know you guys :D

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