Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: We Are All Made Of Molecules

We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Source: #BooksForTrade (Thanks to Xander!)
Date Read: 7/15/15 to 7/17/15
256 pages

Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but "ungifted" socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed "It" girl of grade nine, but her marks 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 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents' divorce; "Spewart" could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they--like the rest of us--are all made of molecules.

Written in alternating voices, Susin Nielsen deftly explores family tragedy and family ties; sibling rivalry and union; and adolescent confusion and revelation.

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I actually went into We Are All Made of Molecules without any expectations, and blindly. I read maybe one review for it when it was being published, and I thought "Well if it's good then I'll add it to the TBR!". So in conclusion, this wasn't on my highly anticipated list or anything! However, even with saying that, I felt that the novel fell short a little for me.

Stewart was by far my favorite character. Even though it's 13, he's more intelligent than the others in his grade, which is why he was attending Little Genius Academy, until his mother passed away from cancer. Within two pages of the book, I was also killed by this quote:
"You think you're pregnant?" I heard my dad say.
"I do"
I couldn't help myself. "FINALLY!" I yelled through the vent. "BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!"
The next day, Mom made an appointment with the doctor.
But it wasn't a baby growing inside her. It was cancer.
- Taken from an uncorrected proof

You see that? Horrible.

What else, oh Stewart's father starts dating, and both of them later move in with Ashley and her mother. And that's kind of when everything starts going downhill.

I really, really, don't like Ashley

How old was she? 14? And she literally acted like a 10 year old for most of the novel. She was incredibly inconsiderate of everyone, her father, her mother, Stewart, his father, and her "friends" at school. She was selfish and mean, and only cared about the social ladder. And unfortunately, to her Stewart was only a hindrance and not a step brother.

Fortunately she does develop throughout the novel, being nicer to Stewart and changing her ways, but her initial impression just stuck with me, and I couldn't think of her any better than before. 

The overall message is great, but I just wasn't moved by anything

It's not like I'm expecting ALL THE FEELS from every book, but it's just that after reading so many books, the plot can get dull and bland. Even though We Are All Made of Molecules discussed topics such as bullying, LGBTQ, and being different from normal, nothing really stuck out to me. Though I do have to applaud the author for tackling the issue of being uncomfortable around someone, especially in a sexual way. 

Overall, We Are All Made of Molecules was a quick read, and I enjoyed reading about Stewart and his friends, but not so much of Ashley and Jared (ugh). Either way, I would still recommend this to someone who enjoys contemporary more than I do.
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