Skip to main content

Chemical Hearts: Teenage Limbo

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

If you like what you read... then connect with me on Instagram. Search me up @ti_e_na

Love makes us do a lot of things and at the point of life where you are still trying to figure out who you are; you try to be anything and everything for that person…

Henry was one who wanted to figure his way through with words and at the same time save Grace who herself was still relying on an already dead path for saving. The end not like the typical love stories is special in itself as it presents a sad yet realistic view to life.


Chemical hearts is a movie starring Lili Reinhart and Austin Abrams as Grace Town and Henry Page respectively.

Grace is the new transfer student at Henry’s school and is also referred to their school newspaper as co-editor because she is known to be an amazing writer while Henry has finally landed his dream position as Editor for the school newspaper but is looking for a spark in his life.

Grace hides a dark secret and Henry’s curiosity for her eventually turns into love as he tries to help her out. It is a journey of self-discovery, loss, healing, love, creativity all encompassed in teenage limbo.

Teenage Limbo

Teenage limbo as seen in the movie is the point between childhood and adulthood where you start to figure yourself out.

From hormonal imbalance to finding your crowd, your personality, changing moods, exploring new territories and balancing societal expectations as well; it can be very challenging and confusing. All of this can certainly leave an impression on you

Love coming into the mix can certainly be exhilarating; losing it can then also come as a very heavy emotional strain


Chemical Hearts: Title Adaptation

Chemical hearts is a movie adaptation of the book ‘Our Chemical Hearts’ by Krystal Sutherland. It’s named so as we see Sadie, Henry’s sister at different points of the movie tells us about how the body and brain of a teenager works as they grow.

We discover that heart break and physical pain are triggered at the same part of the brain and hurts just the same.

We also learn how the brain seems to change as we age. The structure after we enter adulthood is much different from the one we take on as teenagers. The brain also adjusts to pain and heals from it as well

The beauty about this movie is that it doesn’t over explain a lot but gives you just about enough so you can fill in the spaces in between.

It’s one of those movies that might overlook at first but you finish this movie and watch the credits roll by not because you are interested but because it’s really got you thinking about a lot.


Concept of Scars

Kintsukuroi is a technique of using gold to seal cracks in ceramics. Henry uses this a lot as he has a penchant of breaking vases just to fix them that way. From here, we understand that Henry is one who loves to see the beauty in scars.

Scroll to Continue

It is through this same hobby that we understand what happens between him and Grace. He sees her as one whom he can teach to love and smile again just like his vases by showing her she didn’t need to hide away due to her past.

In the process however, he learns that not everything can be fixed by consistently showing up, sometimes you gotta step back and the other party has to take charge or nothing happens.

This story is one of a kind and highly underrated for the fact that it tells a story of life that we never actually see unless we experience it.

No one wants to be seen as weak and so most time goes unnoticed because it’s all hidden under a mask we call strength.

As a teenager the world tells you to be strong and fight for yourself and still beat you down for trying to say something. Even telling you that it’s all a phase or you are too young to have gone through such trauma forgetting that the trauma they call age old is only because they have been carrying it since their teenage years


It also shows us the depth to which grief, loss, disability and self-hate can take a person. The scars it can embed on a person’s psyche and it’s after effects through Grace.

In the movie, we see that her ex-boyfriend was one and all for her; saving her from an abusive home, taking her in, loving her and all that. He dying meant she didn’t keep her end of the bargain (save me and I’ll save you) and so explains why she kept his memories fresh and kept punishing herself for finding a new life while he lost his.

Henry learns the hard way that some scars can just be covered up to look nice and then fixed. When the mental doesn’t fine tune with the physical, it might as well all be a waste.

Every theme explored in the story is something we can all relate to as adults or teenagers. The movie itself points out to the fact that everyone at one point of their lives faced teenage limbo and was almost traumatized by it.

Grace even goes further to say that ‘adults are just scarred kids lucky to make it out of limbo alive;’ this can be seen as true in the transfer of aggression that seems to go on a lot today.


A Creative Is Always A Creative

Grace was one said she lost her words but from the dialogue you could still hear and see the attributes of a writer from her. From her intellect to creativity to the books she reads and even random things she says.

She may have lost her flair for writing but her spirit was ever burning bright. A writer is always a writer.

Henry might have been a clean slate and though scarred Grace was able to help him pen something down. He was looking for an adventure, a thrill, something new and he did find it.

She also pushed him right into his creative side after all in adversity you find strength; Henry was truly able to mold himself from the pain at the end of it all


Related Articles