We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Tundra Books
Source: review copy via library thing review program
I almost didn't read this book. I don't like YA "issues" novels and after reading the blurbs and a couple of reviews of this I really knew it was not my kind of book and wasn't going to bother reading it BUT I had high expectations of the author. "Word Nerd" is one of my all-time favourite YAs ever, and I really enjoyed "Dear George Clooney", so how could I just not read this? So I bit the bullet and dove in. I ended up reading the first half in one sitting and quickly finishing the book in the next! Nielsen is a great storyteller and this is an engaging read that the intended audience is going to lap up. It was not my type of book but Nielsen's writing hooked me and kept me reading right on through. Not overanalyzing it and we have a book about teen issues, so many in fact that you're probably going to have familiarity with some of them and the book will appeal to many teens. It's all in here: death of a parent, a gay parent, dating parents, step-families, mean girls, bullying, and a sexual predator jock. The two main characters are overly stereotyped, the dumb self-interested mean girl and the intellectual socially inept nerdy boy. They are both so busy dealing with the myriad of issues facing them there is no character development and no reason to like or care when the girl has an epiphany and suddenly learns the error of her ways and the boy gathers his courage and stands up against the bully at the end. Any one of these issues alone would have made a deeper more intimate novel. Personally, I also felt sad that the boy had no Faith and could only think that all that was left of his mother was molecules. I know this was supposed to be an uplifting thought for humanists, but as a Christian, it's sad to think it is all someone could have to hang onto without faith. However, in the end, it is an engaging read that the intended audience will love and I'm glad I read it as I intend to continue reading the author as she's proven herself to be able to capture my interest no matter the topic.
As a PS, I loved the salute to fans by bringing in Violet and Dudley Weiner from "Dear George Clooney". I giggled with delight when they showed up!