Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen (11 Apr 17)
Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. 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. 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 a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5 stars
Ugh, I couldn’t stop grinning and I’m 90% sure that the people around me suspected I was texting a cute guy on my phone when I was actually reading this book. It’s the cutest, I swear.
The story takes place around the time when the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal and oh god, that was such a blast from the past. It reminded me of how giddy and happy I was, how excited everyone was. (Well, everyone except bigoted homophobes, anyway.) It brought me back to the days following the announcement where the world got together to celebrate it, where national monuments were lit up in rainbow colours, where pride flags dominated the Internet. I think I might be tearing up just thinking about it. Ah, good times.
Our main character, Molly, is a big girl who has been a victim of unrequited love 26 times. She’s been crushing on guys but has never been in a proper relationship before, and because of that, she feels like love and everything related to it are unattainable for someone like her. This is something that I personally can relate to very well. I’m big, like Molly. And like her, the very thought of putting myself out there terrifies me to the core, especially when it comes to rejection. Sometimes Molly’s thoughts almost seem like they’re echoing mine, which is kinda creepy, but I also kinda wanna hug Becky Albertalli for getting it.
There was one particular topic that was present throughout the book, and that was Molly’s fear of losing touch with her twin sister, Cassie, as they grow up. Especially when Molly felt like they were drifting further and further apart after Cassie got into a relationship. And that is so relevant to me because I worry about the exact same thing all the time. It’s almost like Molly is me! (Minus the presence of cute guys in my life, sadly.)
One other thing I really liked about this book is the diversity when it comes to race, religion and sexuality, which are included effortlessly into the story. It didn’t feel like it was diverse just for the sake of reaching out to a larger group of audience, which I appreciate very much.
Oh, and who could forget the super cool parents? Just like Simon’s parents in SvtHSA, Molly’s mums are really supportive and easygoing, but at the same time know when to put their foot down. I rarely come across parents like that in YA books, which is why I love Nadine and Patty (Molly’s parents) so much.
Also, to the readers who’ve read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: be prepared to meet some familiar characters! When Molly first introduced herself as “Molly Peskin-Suso”, I thought the name sounded so familiar but I just couldn’t place my finger on what it was, until Abby was made an appearance. Can’t deny that it was a pleasant surprise!
All in all, this is a cute, romantic read which touches on several important issues in today’s world. Perfect for anyone looking for a lighthearted, humorous YA story. I mean, unless you’re homophobic/racist. In that case, fix yourself, then come back and pick this book up. I guarantee you’ll love it.
I was sent an ARC upon request via Edelweiss in exchange for a review. Special thanks to Edelweiss, HarperTeen and Becky Albertalli. This is my honest review.