We are all made of molecules, Susin Nielsen

Nerd meets Diva

Mireia Singleton Escofet

The premise of the this novel isn’t a novel one: two step siblings who dislike each other are forced to cohabit under the same room because their respective single parents have fallen in love. The difference here is that the hate element is only felt by one family member: Ashley, the daughter. Stewart, the son, is thrilled with the prospect of the two member acquisition to the family after his mother died to a terminal cancer a couple of years ago.

Nielsen is good with comical situations and is able to capture those moments of teen awkwardness and turn them into laugh out loud paragraphs

Nielsen is an author who is well versed in themes and issues that interest young-teens. She has split her novel in alternating chapters one from Stewart’s point of view and the next by Ashley’s. Stewart is undoubtably a lovable character from the off-set a gifted child and misfit for secondary school. While Ashley is a popular, egocentric and selfishly and self-centred teen.

The two perspectives couldn’t be further opposed but as the novel unfolds and time goes by the two of them become a friendlier and even care for each other. Part of the beauty of this teen novel resides in finding closure, coming to terms and accepting others that wouldn’t be your initial choice as parent, friend or sibling but by doing so one gets to see the greater good that these people bring to one’s life.

The novel is an easy read and the characters are well depicted and easy to sympathise with. Nielsen’s narrative eloquence and coherence makes this read suitable for teenagers. The central point might not be the most original and the ending predictable but is the ways in which Nielsen plots her story and builds her story that makes it a worthy read.

The book is extensive but the language is simple to understand and full of typical teenage expressions that help develop language in an informal context. Furthermore, this is a funny book, Nielsen is good with comical situations and is able to capture those moments of teen awkwardness and turn them into laugh out loud paragraphs.

Editions

[eng] We are all made of molecules Corgi Childrens 2012 316 pages
[fr] On est tous faits de molécules Helium 2015 210 pages
[it] Siamo tutti fatti di molecole Il Castoro 2015 262 pagine

Resources

Author’s personal website where one can browse through and check information about her and see interviews.
More information about We are all made of molecules

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