The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Release date // April 11, 2017
Published by // Balzer + Bray
Pages // 352
Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads
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.
Cadbury Mini Eggs. Cute boys. Pinterest crafts. Baking. Fantasy references. Cute boys. Sweet family dynamics. Did I mention cute boys???
Okay, I know you probably want a bit more of a coherent review, but that’s so hard to pull together when all I want to do is gush and gush and GUSH. I am 100% completely totally in love with THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED.
Let’s begin –
Molly has a long history of crushes, and absolutely no boyfriends. When her sister starts dating a girl named Mina, they begin Operation Get-Molly-A-Boyfriend with Mina’s best friend Will as the goal. In the midst of Molly trying to grapple with her twin having someone else to spend all her time with, and trying to figure out how to act around Will, she finds herself completely loving her new summer job.
Her summer job is at a pinterest-perfect boutique in town, and there just so happens to be a boy who wears nerdy shirts and white sneakers and who she can’t help but love talking to. He’s cute and funny, but she’s so unsure if she really could have a crush on a boy who wears Lord of the Rings shirts on a regular basis.
To be clear, I was in love with Reid from the very first time we meet him. he’s so cute and sweet and funny and loves all the things I do (fantasy, ren faires, GOT, ect).
This story is about so much more than just Molly’s search for a boyfriend, though, which is why I loved it so much.
It is a story about family // The family dynamic in this book is just so wonderful. Molly and Cassie are twins, and they have two moms. They also have a little brother. The whole family is really supportive and open, and I always appreciate a positive family portrayal in a book. I think Albertalli does a fantastic job at critiquing the “typical family” dynamic, because this family feels like a really honest and positive representation of a family that is complex and wonderful. She even grapples with the challenge of (extended) family members not being supportive, of things like being queer, or being hurtful (Molly’s grandmother and Molly’s body).
It is a story about sisters // At the center of the story is the friendship between Molly and Cassie, their life, their loves, and adventures together. I really felt like we got to know each of them well, and it was so fun to follow a pair of siblings that got along well. It was still realistic in the portrayal, though.
It is a story about all kinds of people and identities // I think that this is one of the things that stood out to me from the very beginning. I think that something that Becky does really well is to include representation of all kinds of people with a variety of identities. The family itself is a great example of this. The book always felt like a natural, and honest, depiction of life, which is in part because of the ease in which all kinds of people are present.
It is a story about love // Not going to lie, one of the main reasons I adored this story is the love story between Reid and Molly. I seriously can not impress on you enough how much I fell in love with Reid myself. It was just so, so sweet. A+ romance.
It is, most importantly, a story about self-love // This is what I think I loved the most. Molly learns how to love herself, completely and fully, separate from having the love of another person. The Upside of Unrequited was ultimately a story about recognizing your self-worth; it felt like a love story to fat girls and insecure people. The feeling that this story leaves you with is absolutely wonderful. We could all use a good reminder to love ourselves every once in awhile.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars
If you love adorable, funny, lighthearted contemporary with great representation and family and love, this book is perfect for you. I have not found a main character that I identified with more than Molly, or a love interest that I could completely love the way I adored Reid. Please, please read this story for yourself.
About the author // Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com. Learn more about Becky here! (Source)