The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 11, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQIA+
Pages: 352 Format: ARC Source: Library
This ARC was received by my library department for marketing purposes. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.
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.
After reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I knew Becky Albertalli could write an amazing tale but I had no idea I’d be utterly blown away by her second title, The Upside of Unrequited. Like actually gobsmacked by Molly Peskin-Suso, her family, and this story of love, life, and the inevitability of change. Honestly this book surprised me every step of the way.
The heart and soul of Upside was the ridiculously charismatic cast of characters that brought this story to life. Molly Peskin-Suso is the queen of crushes; anxious, heavyset, and unsure of the world. Cassie, her twin sister, is an outgoing lesbian who has no problem getting dates. Olivia and Abby round out their friend circle and Mina is Cassie’s new pansexual girlfriend. As far as boys go, there’s Will, Mina’s attractive hipster friend, and Reid, Molly’s adorkable coworker.
Adding more depth was the wondrous family dynamics at play. Molly and Cassie are now dealing with the realities of change, worried about losing each other as they grow up and drift apart. Thankfully moms, Patty and Nadine, are there supporting them and taking an active role in their lives. YA really needs more present parents and families and I loved seeing those conversations on the page.
To be honest, I wish this had been available when I was a teenager. I feel such a deep connection to Molly; her unrequited love, her body, the way her mind works. Turning each page was like looking back into the past for me and this is the first time I’ve felt that with a book. Albertalli also manages to truly capture how difficult growing up can be and that there is no “right” time for life events. I’m so thankful for this.
Overall The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli was an absolute revelation of a book. Molly, Cassie, and the rest of these characters were so real and this story resonated with me so much. With a brilliant tale of love and family, Albertalli crafted an honest, funny, and emotional take on contemporary life. Everyone, seriously everyone, should read this book!
So are you excited for The Upside of Unrequited? Ready to tackle love in all it’s many forms? Looking forward to a cameo or two? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!