We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

This book was one of my quick-buys when I went into Waterstones one day. It wasn’t on my TBR (to-be-read) list; I just saw it on the shelves, read the blurb and bought it. 

There are two sides to every story.
Stewart is geeky, gifted but socially clueless. His mom has died and he misses her every day.
Ashley is popular, cool but her grades stink. Her dad has come out and moved out – but not far enough.
Their worlds are about to collide: Stewart and his dad are moving in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is 89.9% happy about it even as he struggles to fit in at his new school. But Ashley is 110% horrified and can’t get used to her totally awkward home. And things are about to become a whole lot more mixed up when they attract the wrong kind of attention…

I started and finished this book on my four-hour train journey from Aachen to Berlin. 

What I loved about this book was that it had the fresh, young voices of young teenagers. Stewart is 13 and Ashley is 14. Normally with teen fiction books, the main character is about 16/17.

What I didn’t like about this book was that they were 13 and 14. Feeling confused? Bear with me.

Using younger characters was a brilliant idea, it showed the transition from being a ‘child’ to a teenager and the troubles that come with that. Unfortunately, how the characters spoke on paper made them seem like they were about ten.

The character of Stewart is supposed to be gifted for his age, but sometimes he comes across and talks as though he’s a little boy. It’s the same with the character of Ashley. She’s 14; she should sound 14 – not ten.

“The next day, Mom made an appointment with the doctor. But it wasn’t a baby growing inside her. It was cancer.”
– Susin Nielsen, We Are All Made Of Molecules

I also hated the character of Ashley. You know those characters that you get that you love to hate? Ashley wasn’t one of them. I couldn’t stand her. She was moaning all of the time and complaining about her life like it was the worst thing in the world – granted most 13/14 year old complain most of the time that their life is horrible – and when I reading her chapters, I just wanted to get them over with.

The book got slightly better as it progressed; we learned a few things about some of the characters and there was some character development, but not an awful lot and the development that did happen was towards the end. I think the character that I like the most was Stewart. Even though he spoke like a five-year-old, he was still a very caring person and always tried to do the right thing no matter what.

There are a few mature moments in this book like dealing with death, drinking and attempted rape (although with the latter is described in very little detail and is stopped before anything happens. It happens for about a few lines.)

I would recommend this book but to those who do want to read it, keep an open mind that the two point of views are very childlike. It’s good, but it’s not a book that I would read again.
Warning: contains references to physical abuse. May trigger. 

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