I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
on April 11, 2017
Also by this author: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Reading Challenges: 2017 Diverse Reads Book Challenge
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.
Here I am with another glowing review of a book by Becky Albertalli. I fell head over heels for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda recently. I instantly put The Upside of Unrequited high on my TBR. I was excited to read it but also a little scared. Simon was so good. So so good. How was this sophomore novel going to live up to that? It couldn’t possibly exceed my Simon love. I tried to put all these fears out of my mind and just go into the book like I would a normal non-Simon book. Honestly, I shouldn’t have worried at all. This book is just as sweet, funny, swoon-worthy, and real as Simon was. I loved it!
The characters are all incredible in The Upside of Unrequited. All of them! I think most readers will be able to find their high school self in Molly. At least a little. She is all of us that have ever felt awkward, self conscious, unloved, and left behind. We meet Molly at the start of a rough patch. Her twin sister just got a girlfriend and Molly is feeling left out and maybe a little jealous. I loved Molly! All of her feelings rang so true with me. She was lovely and smart and funny and an amazing friend. I loved watching slowly get more confident in herself.
The cast of characters is nothing short of amazing. There’s a close-nit group of friends and an involved family. Even Abby, Simon and Nick make an appearance or two! The twin dynamic was really fascinating. I didn’t always love Cassie’s actions, but she was a really interesting character. The Upside of Unrequited also has to be one of the most diverse books I’ve ever read. There’s just so much realistic diversity in this book. It’s incredible!
I must also take a moment to gush about something I absolutely loved in the book for completely personal reasons. Molly has a young brother. I’m not sure how old he was, but because of that there’s lots of breastfeeding talk! There’s even an awesome breastfeeding scene. I’m a huge advocate for breastfeeding, so having so much detail about it in a YA book makes my heart swell. I feel like it’s very important to remove the stigma from this natural act and having teens read about it is an wonderful step in that direction. There’s also mentions of cloth diaper and rings slings in the book. That makes my mom heart happy.
Okay, now lets get to the most important part of the story. The swoons. They were abundant. They were warm and fuzzy. They were everything. One unexpected thing about this book is that it traveled close to love triangle territory. I will assure you that it didn’t reach that much dreaded wasteland of love. No, everything was perfectly executed! The romance burns slowly and delivers a lot of the swoon inducing feelings through text conversations. It was just perfect! I also love that Molly and her love interest got together with a good chunk of book left. I love when that happens! I love getting to see the couple actually be a couple. Did I mention that the romance was perfect? Sigh…
This is getting long so I’m going to wrap this up. The Upside of Unrequited was everything I wanted it to be. There’s no doubt that Becky Albertalli is a huge voice in YA now. She is so talented! I urge you to read both of her books as soon as possible.