I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: We Are All Made of Molecules
Author: Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Summary (from Goodreads): Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless.
Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.
Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.
They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules.
We Are All Made of Molecules is such a beautifully written book! This is a story that is entertaining, educational and uplifting. The issues examined by Nielsen are so important for today’s students to grasp. This book is diverse and is written in a compelling fashion that will keep readers wanting to learn and know more.
We Are All Made of Molecules explores some really important themes. The main theme that rings through this novel is acceptance. One of the main characters, Stewart, is a year younger than the other grade nine students in his classes at school. It doesn’t help that he is a “nerd” and was able to skip the eighth grade. He is bullied in gym class by the older boys and threatened by his new step sister. The characters slowly discover that everyone is different and that they need to accept this. Taking a stand and defending those who are intimidated by bullies is the message that is spoken here and it is one that needs to continually be in the limelight.
Diversity in the YA genre is something that we are striving to include these days. We Are All Made of Molecules provides readers with a diverse cast of characters. The father of one of the main characters, Ashley, in this story is gay. The dad actually lives in Ashley’s backyard, in a small shed after divorcing her mom. When Stewart and his dad move in with them, she is terrified that the secret will get out. Ashley does some really disrespectful things when trying to hide the fact that her father is gay. What is really superb about Nielsen’s writing, is how she depicts the family’s support for Ashley’s dad.
An interesting writing technique that Susin Nielsen uses in We Are All Made of Molecules are multiple character perspectives. In this book, the chapters alternate between Stewart and Ashley. They both have completely different personalities, which helps the reader see both sides of the story. When Stewart first moved in, readers are able to learn how excited he is and how annoyed Ashley is. I really enjoyed this because it makes the story humorous and engaging for the reader.
If you have read and enjoyed Susin Nielsen’s other books, you will surely enjoy We Are All Made of Molecules. The voice of this book is very similar to her other work. It is fresh and entertaining to read. I strongly recommend We Are All Made of Molecules to anyone, however, because it is a very well-written book that everyone will enjoy and learn from.