The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (11th Apr 2017)
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.
I’d like to thank HarperCollins USA International for sending me an ARC of The Upside of Unrequited.
Much to the disappointment of every person who recommended me Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I was one of the few black sheep who didn’t like Simon’s love story. I am sorry, but I just couldn’t like it and you know how the saying goes “It’s not me, it’s the book!” Jokes. Aside from the diversity in the characters and some memorable, cutesy moments, I decided that it wasn’t for me.
However, when the opportunity came by for me to read Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited, I thought, maybe I could give this one a try. Similar to a “do-or-die” situation: if I didn’t like this one, I’d probably accept the fact that Becky Albertalli’s books aren’t for me.
Bless the stars in the night sky and the grinning moon because I really enjoyed reading Molly Peskin-Suso’s story that centres on first love, sisterhood, friendship and family in The Upside of Unrequited!
The Upside of Unrequited is about a girl who has had 26 crushes (and counting!) but she’s never fallen in love, been in a relationship let alone been kissed but we love her for it! So what if she’s a big girl? Molly’s twin sister, Cassie often tells her to “woman up” and take a leap of faith. Maybe it’s time Molly finally learns that harmless crushes will always be harmless and they would mean nothing unless she decides to do something about it.
“I’m on the toilet at the 9:30 Club and I’m wondering how mermaids pee.”
I felt that Becky Albertalli explored several themes in the story very well, especially Molly’s dependency on Cassie for emotional support and the unbreakable bond that twins share. I was so heartbroken for Molly when she and Cassie began drifting apart as they grew up and discovered other parts of themselves as they stepped into different chapters of their lives. I really liked Molly. She is relatable and sweet and I thought Becky Albertalli captured her characters’ experiences growing up pretty well.
The characters were just wonderful. Wonderfully entertaining, wonderfully diverse, just wonderful. I liked that the representation of diversity—sexual orientation, religion, race—was so effortless and it really made me like the book more.
If you’ve read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you would be familiar with the character Abby? Well, Molly and Cassie are Abby’s cousins! DUH, you probably knew that. Excuse me while I make a sandwich and quietly tear off the sides in a corner.
Here’s something cool about The Upside of Unrequited: Molly and Cassie have Mums and they are the epitome of cool mothers. *side eyes Mrs George from Mean Girls* (Not that I have anything against Amy Poehler, she’s hilarious!) I am all about supportive and laid back parents and I thought Nadine and Patty were amazing role models.
“And it’s the end of the world and the beginning of the world and we’re seventeen.”
Can we please talk about how adorable the romance is? OKAY? Please, because I might have developed a crush on Reid and I plan to scheme my way into his arms. (Sorry, Molly..)
Molly and Reid’s friendship-turned-relationship is goals. I just want to knit their relationship into a cuddly blanket and turn myself into a cuddle monster and inhale Cadbury Mini Eggs all by myself because they are just the cutest.
Please allow me to make myself sound a little bit more coherent. The witty banter between them is effortless, totally cute and I couldn’t stop grinning.
“I feel vaguely nauseated. Like a weirdly pleasant norovirus. Kind of the halfway point between vomiting and becoming a sentient heart-eye emoji.”
Aside from Molly’s relationship with Reid, the book also focuses on Cassie, who’s lesbian, and her relationship with her pansexual girlfriend, Mina. Another example of awesome representation of characters. Period.
“I can’t quite articulate the sweetness of that feeling.
It’s finding out that the door you were banging on is finally unlocked. Maybe it was unlocked the whole time.”
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli is an excellent, fresh voice in YA. The novel deals with important issues faced by teenagers and expresses them in a positive and often humorous way, highlighting the thoughts of a young teenage girl who has always pictured love as something elusive. Her story of self-discovery, finding love and accepting the inevitable changes life brings is uplifting and heartwarming.