We are made of molecules by Susin Nielsen

Hi everyone, this last post for July tells a tale of step siblings, and it is a teen novel. I picked it up, just like I did the last one, because something about the cover spoke to me. So, without giving too much away, if you are the kind of person who likes high school dramas along with a bit of a family story mixed in, then this should be the book you turn to next.

We are all made of molecules multi-coloured dots around words
Teen read

Title: We are all made of molecules

Author: Susin Nielsen

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Wendy Lamb Books; NY, 2015

ISBN: 9780553496864

What this book is about: 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. The Brady Bunch it isn’t. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 100% horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out. They are complete opposites, yet they have one thing in common: they – like everyone else – are made of molecules. In this hilarious and deeply moving story, award-winning author Susin Nielsen has created two narrators who will steal your heart and make you laugh out loud.

My review: What a brilliant book!! Told in the two distinct voices of academically-gifted Stewart and social-climber Ashley, this story takes us on a journey. Along the way the reader will meet their parents who despite their differences are trying very hard to accommodate the needs to two teenagers and be true to their own lives. We also meet Ashley’s *spoiler alert* gay father and his partner. The school scenes are the best described ones for me. We see the view of bullying from all angles; and some not very pleasant scenes of the dark and mean nature of the bully is revealed. It is essentially your typical mixed-family plus high-school drama story with a whole lot of hilarity, academia and teen angst. Some excellent writing here with two hilariously believable characters in Ashley and Stewart. I especially loved the setting in Vancouver, Canada; Susin Nielsen took me there with her stunning description and imagery. Recommended for teen readers please!

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional notes: This book was awarded the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award for Adult Middle Reader in 2016, and nominated for both the Snow Willow Award and the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature prize in 2016. 

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