We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
Genre: Contemporary, Family-Orientated
Published by: Anderson Press
Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
We Are All Made of Molecules is a two perspectives story. There’s Stewart, who recently lost his mum and whose dad is moving in with his new partner, Ashley’s mum. Ashley is struggling with her own new situation as her dad came out as gay and is now living in the annex at the bottom of the garden. It’s a beautiful story of a blended family, full of rich characters and really touching moments.
The beginning is rather abrupt, and the way Stewart fills us in on his life so forgets accentuates all the quirky parts of his character that I fell in love with immediately. I found it hard to connect with Ashely because she’s extremely materialistic and concerned only with how other people see her. In her eyes, the fact that her dad is gay will completely destroy her life. So, as you can expect, she’s very unwelcoming and a bit of a brat to Stewart, who is only trying to make the best of the situation. However, I loved the contrast between Ashley and Stewart, especially in the way they manipulated the narrative. Their voices were very distinct. Ashely misusing words and Stewart being very economical with his word choice. Their characters leapt of the page!
The most important part of this story, though, is the relationship these kids have with their parents. It’s not an ideal situation for either of them. Stewart just wants his mum and Ashley wants everything to go back to the way it was. Basically, they both want to go back to time when they were happier. The development and progression of the characters as individuals and as a family made me so happy. I had to finish it in one sitting, I needed to see how they would deal with new situations. Including a party when their parents are out of town (I think we all know how that one goes!) and bullying at school.
I lived for the moments when Ashley and Stewart would come to each other’s aid. And in the end, they were surprisingly good at helping each other understand the opposite point of view.
I honestly don’t think there was one bit about this book I didn’t enjoy! The slightly younger age of the main characters gave the book a ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio vibes, which made it even better in my opinion! I’ve seen a lot of promotion of this book on Goodreads, so I hope more people give it a chance!