The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
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?





Review

  • I have a fierce love for this book. 
Molly has such a winning voice and winning heart and yup, Becky remains one of my favorite authors ever. (Just reread as an audiobook and it's amazing!)

  • Before I get into the quality of the book, let me just give you a breakdown of the diversity represented here because it was honestly incredible and this is the exact world that I want to see in YA contemporaries from now on.
-Pansexual (on page) side character who is also Korean-American
-Multiple lesbian side characters
-Bisexual side character
-Minor gay characters
-Jewish main character, side characters, and love interest
-Main character has two moms
-Multiple black side characters
-Although there were no on-page asexual characters, asexuality was still included as a thing that exists
-Fat main character
-Main character also has a history of anxiety which she is on medication for and this is brought up A LOT along with how going to parties works differently for her because of the dangers of mixing her medication with alcohol

There are so many more but LOOK AT THIS LIST. None of these characters were shoe-horned in. It was the most natural collection of people who made up this growing community for the main character and it honestly made me want to cry a couple of times because this is the world I live in and I was seeing it so naturally represented in what is going to be a highly sold YA contemporary. But now let me talk about everything else great going on here.

Reading this book felt like eating one of Molly's mason jars of egg-free cookie dough and ice cream. I couldn't be mad while I was reading it. It was the most pleasurable reading experience and I spent most of my time grinning from ear to ear. Molly is a fabulous main character who struggles in such an authentic way to deal with low self esteem and feeling like everyone around her is growing up faster than she is. It was something I really identified with, remembering myself at 17. Her concerns, and the round-about way that she rationalizes how she feels left behind was excellently done and supremely authentic, in my own experience. Also, her constant struggles with self-image were really well done and she felt like a character I hadn't seen before, but one I have wanted to exist for so long now.

The sister relationship. Sorry, let me rephrase that. THE SISTER RELATIONSHIP!!!!! I spend a lot of time being sad about books that don't feature siblings or close family relationships and boy was this a balm to all of that. The ups and downs with Molly and Cassie were so similar to a lot of the ways I interact with my own sister. They know exactly what words to use to hurt each other if they need to, but they will also kill absolutely anyone who so much as looks at their sister the wrong way. They can have a conversation in a glance but they can also have days where they don't know how to communicate at all. And they also have a really great relationship with their moms, who are an active part of the story. That's right, not only do they have two moms but they are participating in their daughters' lives and in the story itself! They don't vanish into whatever wasteland YA parents sometimes go while they teenage children are having life struggles! Plus, they are well-developed, live their own lives, and are honestly hilarious.

My only qualms with this book come in the form of communication stuff. First of all, it seems like some of the issues in the plot could have been so easily remedied if Molly had just spoken up. I know this is often linked to the anxiety she feels and the worry that whatever she says will be shut down, but by the time I got closer to the end of the book it felt more and more like she just needed to say ANYTHING to her sister or best friend and all would be well. Also, this had an odd habit where characters would be having a really essential or meaningful conversation and it would just... stop. Molly would have some thoughts about what was being said and then we would never hear how the conversation ended. This happened a few times throughout and it did frustrate me because I thought those were really important conversations happening and I wanted to know how they ended.

This was one of the most joyful books I have read in a long time. The characters talked like teenagers and constantly texted or brought up social media. They were funny and self-conscious and loud and confused. I'm sure you all already have this on your anticipated releases list, but if you somehow don't already: put it on there. Don't worry, Albertalli's second book doesn't disappoint. In fact, it is more than worth the wait.

Now, here's hoping that the Simon movie does incredibly well so we can get a movie of this one too.


  • When I first read the summary of this book, I thought I probably won't like it. Then I got it in my Owlcrate and said well, I should probably read it. Then I saw it was by the same author who wrote, "Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda" which I loved and I thought I'm just going to LOVE this book. And guess what? I did! =)

I love when I get these young adult books that make me feel all good inside. I love them like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!

This book had me laughing out loud so hard and I really needed that, although, laughing so hard when not feeling good with a tummy ache isn't the best thing. =)

I wanted to put like a million excerpts in this review but there are just too many of them!

I am in love with most of the characters in the book. How can you not love them? I mean there are a couple of jerks here and there but they aren't really important.

Molly and Cassie are twin sisters and their parents are two women that are the freaking coolest moms ever! They also have a little brother named Xavier. He's still a tot but Molly and Cassie are seventeen.

The girls end up meeting a girl named Mina who is super nice and she ends up being Cassie's girlfriend.

Then Molly meets a boy named Reid at her new job and they eventually get together. It's all so terribly sweet and funny.

Molly gave both of them nicknames:

Mina of the Labia
Middle Earth Reid

You have to read the book to find out how they got these names.

They have a cray grandma too. You have to read about her to get what I'm talking about.

This book is full of so much stuff.

Same sex marriage
Body issues/weight
Mental health issues
Old ladies that hit people in their cars and then cuss said person out
Vag's
Little peens
Drinking
Friendship
Love
Hate
All kinds of references to things/shows, etc

I know I'm leaving tons of stuff out but you get the drift.

I'm so happy with this book. I will read this many times. This book IS my fresh baked chocolate chip cookie =) ♥


  • 4.5 stars! I really really enjoyed this read. I recently read Simon & LOVED it so I was super pumped to pick up Becky's next work *that comes out on my birthday.*

This was an unbelievably adorable, cute, funny, fluffy, give-you-all-the-feels kind of read. (So like, what you would normally expect from Becky) [But speaking of Becky's other books, I would definitely recommend reading [book:Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda|19547856] before Upside. It's definitely not required but there are some cameos that will hold no significance and seem like totally irrelevant side characters if you don't already know the history of who these characters are.]

Upside was definitely a unique read! There's underrepresented body types, our MC has anxiety & takes medication for it, the MCs twin sister likes girls (specifically, a Korean-American pansexual girl), they have two moms, they're also sperm-donor babies. Molly does hold family to a higher standard than a lot of YA books as she's very concerned with her relationship with her sister but I thought it was really nice to see someone who cared to deeply for their family. It was a breath of fresh air to experience all this individuality in one book!

I also feel it was a really realistic portrayal of teenagers, like REEEAALLLLY realistic compared to a lot of other YA titles. The teens drink. They talk about sex. They lie to their parents. They feel self-conscious due to a variety of factors like body image, their romantic/sexual experiences, their family and friend's view of them. They panic over issues teen do panic over in real life. They exaggerate, they feel jealousy. It held all the components of adolescence that really happen outside of fiction. It was immensely nice to see a book where teens are shown in a very truth-to-life way.

There was really nothing I *didn't* like about this book per say. The only thing I can touch on is that I personally was not as emotionally invested in this story. It has nothing to do with the characters, the plot, the messages expressed, the writing or ANYTHING of that sort because I did truly enjoy every aspect of this book. It's just one of those reads that you fly through because you really really enjoy it, and you exit the story with just amusement and entertainment, which is still a really great thing!

I'd highly highly recommend The Upside of Unrequited! It's definitely a fast, get-you-out-of-a-slump sort of read. I think it has a lot of strengths and would really speak to a variety of readers. Full video review to come to my channel closer to release, but definitely put this one on your TBRs for this coming April 11th!
 

 
Reference: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30653853-the-upside-of-unrequited
 

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