The Upside of Unrequitedby Becky Albertalli
Published on April 11, 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Publisher (via Edelweiss)
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
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.
Before reading The Upside of Unrequited, I had never read a book by Becky Albertalli…and I know what y’all are gonna say “Whaaaat?? How can you not have read Simon Vs?!?!” and I will hang my head in shame. Simon Vs has been on my list for quite some time now but I haven’t had the chance to get to it yet. However, now that I have read The Upside, I will definitely move it closer to the top of my list!!
I read the upside within two different reading sessions. I have had a lot going on in my life recently, but I was not able to put this book down! It is so important and it addresses so many issues that teens face today. The diversity is out of this world and it’s so amazing to see! Becky Albertalli did a fantastic job and you can definitely see all of the love and hard work that went into writing this amazing story.
I was able to relate to Molly a lot. I myself always crushed on people and never did anything about it. At that time my parents were incredibly strict about me dating, but there was also the fact that I was socially awkward and was terrible at making friends. Heck, I still am! If Ben hadn’t made the first move, I would have gone on in silent infatuation. Anyway, back to Molly…she was also insecure about her body, which a lot of girls are these days. It’s so hard to have that perfect body image that the media always tells us we have to have and it is damaging to our self esteem. I love that she was able to start loving herself for her even when her own sister told her she should lose weight if she wanted to be happy.
There were so many times that I honestly couldn’t stand Molly’s sister. I’ve never been incredibly close with my brother, but I can only imagine what it is like to lose your sister and one of your only friends. Towards the end I know that Molly came to terms with how they were drifting apart, it was just so heartbreaking to watch Molly long for how they were before.
I loved the relationship between Molly and Reid! They were so awkward and cute, which is basically how every first relationship is. There are always those weird butterflies and the hesitation and the “does he really like me or is he just being friendly” part. It was so fascinating to read because never in my time blogging or even reading have I seen a book this realistic. There have always been those parts that I’m like “okay that’s cute but really?” but The Upside wasn’t like that. They were a real family with real problems and it was a real crush with real hesitations.
I think that’s why I liked this book so much. It was relatable, funny, heartbreaking, and created a level understanding that more books need these days. We have too many books, especially contemporaries, that have all these teenagers acting crazy and doing things that NO TEENAGER EVER DOES. I look forward to more from Becky and I definitely look forward to reading Simon Vs 😀