We are all made of molecules by Susin Nielsen
First, I love Stewart. He’s nerdy and awkward and a bit weird but so honest. He’s got a bit of a Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory thing going on and you just want to hug him and make him feel better.
Second, I am now totally naming my future cat Schrödinger. So much awesome in that name 🙂
Briefly, the book tells the story nerdy Stewart and popular Ashley who become siblings of a sort when their parents move in together. Stewart is still dealing with the death of his mother, and Ashley is coping with her parents’ divorce. Stewart’s enthusiastic embracing of their new familial relationship threatens Ashley’s top spot at school, along with the deep secret she’s trying to hide. But as we come to see the two do have something in common – they’re both made of molecules. And maybe there is a way to coexist.
The book is told in alternating narratives from Stewart and Ashley. They’re both coping with the challenges of high school, from locker rooms to finding their place in the social order. Both characters are very real. Ashley comes across as a bit vapid and clueless, but you get glimpses of her depths – they’re just buried under fashionable clothes and nail polish. Stewart is funny and awkward. And you feel for both him and Ashley when it comes to their social interactions. I love how the story takes some very real and important issues and helps to make them relatable. And it’s not a romance or a post-apocalyptic drama (which I love, but it’s a little too common now). The book deals with some heavy issues; divorce, homosexuality, bullying, consent, and being embarrassed by your parents. And it approaches them in a caring and realistic way. Definitely a discussion starter if you’re reading it with younger readers.
As an older reader (i.e. I’m well past being a teen) I still enjoyed the book greatly. And was reminded how glad I am that I’m not in high school any more. A quick and easy read I’m recommending this one to everyone, and especially for parents. I’d give it a 5/5.