Oh my goodness, could this book be any cuter?! It’s adorable and poignant, too, with moments that broke my heart but put it back together again.
While I have Albertalli’s debut novel, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, on my shelf, I picked up The Upside of Unrequited at the local library on a whim. Now, I’m definitely going to try to make room to read Simon vs, especially since the movie is coming out next year (until the title Love, Simon).
Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 11, 2017
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Length: 336 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?”
Here’s a link to a lovely Twitter thread from the author herself about the fat rep in the book.
This book is incredibly relatable, even for me and I’m not even a teen (in age, haha). I laughed and grinned stupidly in nearly every chapter. And if I wasn’t doing that, my heart was hurting for Molly. The relationships, whether romantic, between friends, or familial, were authentic, and I love every moment with the Peskin-Suso family.
What I really loved is how Molly felt incredibly at ease with Reid, which is completely different than how she felt when she was with Will. I think that’s very telling from the beginning, despite Molly being incredibly self-conscious about her appearance. And then her reactions and feelings about her twin-sister Cassie finding Mina, and how she realized they would eventually drift apart and how there was this juxtaposed relationship of one of her moms and her own sister… It was all just so incredibly real.
This was a quick read for me as well. The writing style is really simple, and I found it rather easy to dive into Molly’s world and relate to her insecurities. I felt her pain and her heartbreak in every situation. I loved Molly’s inner monologue, and I definitely feel as if that’s every teenager, especially in terms of crushes. 😛
Now I will say there was one thing in particular that hasn’t left my mind since I finished it, and it’s how Molly felt about herself after she realized a certain someone liked her. I interpreted it as she didn’t feel beautiful until she got a boyfriend. In a sense, I can sort of understand this due to the age of character, but I hope Molly progresses more and realizes she’s perfect with or without someone. Does that sound cheesy? lol I’m sorry if it does. But because of my past and the events that shaped me into who I am today, I was able to relate specifically to Molly in that aspect, and I wanted more for her.
But despite that, I absolutely loved every single character in the book. (Okay, maybe not the ones who proved themselves to be jerks, but whatever.) When I’m not on a book buying ban, I will add this book to my personal library and recommend it to everyone! There’s so many things to love but even more so due to the diverse cast, various representation in terms of sexual identities, and mental health.