We Are All Made of Molecules
By Susin Nielsen
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Summary: Award-winning author Susin Nielsen has created two narrators who will steal your heart and make you laugh out loud.
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.
Review: When this book arrived in the mail for me for possible review, I had no idea what it was about. I hadn't ever heard of it before, but it looked cute and quick, so I decided to give it a try.
Stewart and Ashley couldn't be more different. Stewart is brilliant but socially awkward 13-year-old while Ashley is the 14-year-old queen bee at school but not so smart academically. When Stewart's dad decides it's time to move in with his girlfriend, who just so happens to be Ashley's mom, Ashley is anything but thrilled. Ashley is still trying to understand how to feel about why her dad divorced her mom while trying to hold on to her reputation at school. Stewart may not be Mr. Popular, but he does his best to do the right thing and show Ashley how they truly can be a family.
Wow, this book was definitely not what I was expecting. First off, Stewart is so freaking adorable and he definitely made this book as enjoyable as it was. I loved how his brain worked and how he was so straightforward and just wanted to do the right thing. I wasn't a huge fan of Ashley and how over-the-top popular girl she was. Her thought process seemed a bit too juvenile at times for a high school sophomore and I just hated how she treated her "best friend" Lauren. At times I just rolled my eyes at how unbelievable her character was in her thought process when trying to maintain her popularity. There were parts, though, that were very relatable and relevant in today's society, like her dilemma with dating a "popular" guy when he didn't treat her right and dealing with her dad coming out.
I definitely think that this book tackled some serious issues in a pretty amazing way. First off, Ashley's dad is gay and the only one who can't accept that about him is Ashely. She won't even tell her friends because she's scared of what they'll say. Then, there's the whole issue with Jared and how he treated Ashley. She deals with pressure to be someone she's not and trying to be who everyone expects her to be in her ideal view of life. Then, there's Stewart. I just wanted to give him a huge hug! He lost his mom almost two years ago and is still trying to deal with life without her, and then he's bullied at school because he's smaller, socially awkward, and thinks differently than everyone else. I HATED it when he was bullied, especially when Ashley was also mean to him and refused to help him. Stewart had such a heart, though, and really did his best to make his new family work and make the world right.
Overall, this book had some strong messages and adorable characters. Ashley was a bit too exaggerated for my liking, but I think that Stewart's character definitely made up for that. I would say that this read more as a middle grade book, but I really enjoyed how Susin Nielsen was able to write about such heavy topics in a very quirky, lovable way.