Review: We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

19405297We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Publisher: Tundra Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Tween, Contemporary, Siblings, Family, LGBT

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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.


First thing you need to know about this book: It’s not funny, let alone ‘‘hilarious.’’ It didn’t make me laugh or smile repeatedly, though it is an insightful, meaningful and, at some point, cute read.

Second thing you need to know about this book: It’s not middle grade, or young adult. It’s something between the two, so I’d call it a ‘‘tween’’ book.

Stewart has, indeed, a young voice. He doesn’t feel thirteen. But there’s an explanation for that. After all, it is clearly mentioned that he’s socially clueless and quite awkward, too. He’s very… innocent, I’d say. Not quite fully aware of the outside world’s dangers.

I personally found him adorable, definitely of the hug-worthy kind. And the age is just a number. Let’s not forget that. Plus he and Ashley both have their own character development.

Ashley is not a character that was written for you to love. She’s self-absorbed, selfish, uncultivated, love-blinded and clueless. Her purpose is not to add dept to the story, but rather help show the importance of realizing who our real friends are, loving our family and that ‘‘no’’ must be understood as a full sentence.

But the best thing about WE ARE ALL MADE OF MOLECULES is definitely the narration. Both narrators make this an interesting story. I liked all the references to science, history, literature and popular culture.

And let’s not forget to mention the LGBT theme. Miss Nielsen realistically portrays the life of two young people, Stewart (13) and Ashley (14), who both struggle with life-matters and family-centered situations. Nothing is rushed. Everything makes sense and progresses at a suitable pacing.

If you enjoy stories filled with salient themes and family/sibling drama, this one’s for you! Some of the characters actually reminded me of ones from the TV show MODERN FAMILY.

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2 thoughts on “Review: We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

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