We are all Made of Molecules, by Susin Nielsen
First of all, I’m trying this blogpost in a bigger font, what do you think!?
Second, I just finished reading We Are All Made of Molecules, by Susin Nielsen!
“There are two sides to every story.
Stewart is geeky, gifted but socially clueless. His mom has died and he misses her every day.
Ashely 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 Ashely and her mom. Stewart is 89.9% happy about it ever as he struggles to fit in at his new school. But Ashely is 100% 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...”
Ok so I liked the idea of this book - a re-combined family with two kids having to learn how to get along. I was really looking forward to Stewart’s geekiness because I love nerdy characters. The cover is awesome and bright, and It was an easy read, simple to fly through.
But I didn’t really like it...
My main problem with it was that it really portrayed the nasty side of teenagers. Of course, Ashley is on the top of the social ladder, while Stewart isn’t even allowed on the ladder, in her opinion. Of course Ashely’s goal is to go out with the good-looking new guy, of course she doesn’t care about homework, she’s ashamed of her dad, she can’t stand her geeky almost-step-brother. She also had this typical ‘I’m the top of the social ladder, so everyone has to bow to me, I can hurt my friends if I want, and it won’t matter ‘cus I’m queen bee” type of thing around her. She was plain nasty. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was in ninth grade / year 10, we didn’t really have anyone who was that bad. Yes we had the top of the social ladder, but that’s it.
The obviousness continues, but to a lesser extent, with Stewart. Stewart was my favorite character, because he was sweet and his science jokes actually made me laugh. He’s completely clueless about social behavior... sorta. He still manages to (somehow) have a girlfriend, and make friends. In fact, it seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing in social situations. But then of course he got the best grades, liked playing strategy games, electronics, et cetera.
I just felt like Ashely and Stewart were too obvious, and really put current teenagers in an awful light.
Some of the side characters were more in-between, but they still identified as either uber-popular or a nerd. How about just a normal 14-year-old?
Even the guy Ashely likes is overly typical - he’s dark and mysterious, with a strange background, plays sports for the school, and pretends to care about Stewart just to get to Ashely, who he doesn’t really care about either.
Now there are some things I did like! It really covered less-mentioned topics well, such as reconstructed families, grief, and growing up. The whole idea about us all being interconnected in some way, even with people we don’t want to be connected to, was interesting and showed that, literally, sharing (molecules) is caring.
I’m giving this a 2.5/5 feathers. Wasn’t my thing.