Book: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Other Books by this Author: Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda
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.
Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Randomhouse UK for providing me with an ARC to review!
The first time I saw this book, I was immediately drawn to the bright blue cover and after a brief glance at the description, I knew I wanted to read it. I added it to my goodreads list and then forgot about it. But then I was browsing the LGBTQIA category on Netgalley and found The Upside of Unrequited again. I’ve never read a YA LGBTQIA book before so I was very intruiged and immediately requested to read it.
The first thing I absolutely loved was the diversity within this book! I knew going in to it that the main character was heterosexual and her twin sister was gay. But I wasn’t sure how much of a role this would play in the book. This book featured staight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, black, white, Korean-American and Jewish characters – amazing! And it all felt really natural. It didn’t feel like there was any sort of diversity quota that needed to be reached and while it was touched on in the book, it was just a normal part of their life. I adored the family dynamic Albertalli created in the Peskin-Suso family. The twins, Molly and Cassie, had a great relationship with their moms and little brother. The sister relationship and the way this book addressed the change in the dynamic of their relationship once Cassie got a girlfriend was fantastically done. I loved pretty much everything about this family. Albertalli made this book feel so current and relevant, and I love that she included the day Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage and the celebrations that ensued!
I really appreciated Molly’s character for several reasons, but the biggest of which was the fact that she has anxiety. I struggle with anxiety too, and this is the first time I’ve read a book that gives a first person account of anxiety. It was nice to be able to relate to her in this way.
Times I totally related to Molly in The Upside of Unrequited:
- If someone says I’m sad, or asks me what’s wrong, or tells me not to cry, it’s like my body hears: NOW CRY. Like a command, even if I’m not actually sad. But maybe there are always tiny sad pieces inside me, waiting to be recognized and named. Maybe it’s like that for everyone.
- I wish I were better at forgetting things.
- It’s like every time I think of something awesome to say, I rehearse it in my head so maybe at times, I forget whether I’ve said it out loud yet. And I think it goes without saying that awesome one-liners are decidedly less awesome when you repeat them by accident.
There were probably a lot more but I forgot to highlight them. Even though Molly is a 17 year old girl who’s never been kissed and I’m a 32 year old married woman, I could really relate to her. It was nice knowing someone else gets what goes on in my head sometimes.
The characters were very well developed and I felt as though I got a good sense of each of them, even those who were not very active in the story. I would love to keep reading more about them. I’d actually really love it if Becky Albertalli wrote a book about Patty and Nadine, I want to read more about these awesome moms!
And speaking of characters, Reid’s emoji game was on point! 👌👍
The overall feeling I had while reading this book was happiness. When I am struck with anxiety, I turn to books to help me deal with it. This book was an excellent anti-anxiety read, as it kept me smiling and turning the pages. It was a sweet coming of age love story, but the love story had so many different dimensions – love for ones family, love for oneself, and of course crushes that become more than crushes.
This is the first book of Becky Albertelli’s I’ve read. I’ve heard amazing things about Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and after reading The Upside of Unrequited, I am definitely going to add it to my list!
The Upside of Unrequited is available 11 April, pre-order your copy today!