My Rating: 2.5 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Using the themes of death and divorce, Susin Nielsen’s We Are All Made of Molecules explores how families can change and adapt. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of the book was tempered by: 1) the character of Ashley and 2) the use of rape as a plot device.
Told from the alternating points of Stewart and Ashley, We Are All Made of Molecules chronicles what happens when two families decide to merge. Although I thought both Stewart and Ashley seemed very stereotypical, Stewart was at least a pretty decent character. Ashley, on the other hand, was not only mean and constantly putting others down, but Nielsen chose to highlight that Ashley wasn’t as smart as Stewart by having Ashley continually mix up words (e.g. using unconstipated instead of emancipated, etc.). This drove me crazy!
Another issue that I had with We Are All Made of Molecules was that Ashley wasn’t almost raped once but twice in the book - just so that she could experience some character growth! Also, nobody experienced any major consequences in the aftermath of either situation. It’s just too bad that a topic like rape was used as a plot device, and wasn’t handled more sensitively.
We Are All Made of Molecules will be released by Tundra Books on May 12, 2015.
Comments About the Cover: Though I like its colourfulness, I don’t think it really matches the title of the novel.
In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Random House of Canada Limited) for free via NetGalley.