Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Sunday, 16 April 2017
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
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. 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. Right?

The Upside of Unrequited was one of the freshest, funniest and most heartwarmingly real books that I've read since, well, Simon (which, it's worth nothing, is as far as it can get from The Upside of Unrequited without losing the same natural charm and wit that comes with Becky Albertalli's writing). The further into this I got, and the more time I spent with Molly, the more I wanted - and up until the very last page I got exactly what I asked for and I couldn't be more excited about any future books that Becky Albertalli might release if they keep living up to this standard.

I didn't know much about The Upside of Unrequited until I started reading it, and the farther and farther I got into it the happier that I was to see less represented people keep popping up. It is, in fact, one of the more inclusive books that I've read. Starting with Molly - I am so grateful for Molly - she is a fat girl, to start. And a fat girl who lacks any sort of wisdom is the dating world. Up until Molly I had never seen myself in a book, ever. And I think the fact that I fell so hard for her truly says something about my ego. Not only do we have Molly, her parents are a same sex, multiracial couple who used sperm donors to conceive Molly, Cassie and Xavier (aka the cutest baby ever). Patty is bisexual, Nadine is lesbian, Cassie is (as far as we know) also lesbian, and Mina is pansexual. Now, I love a book that is diverse, and covers all sorts of sections of misrepresented groups but I abhor when they just seem to be dumped in for the sake of having LGBTQ+ characters. The Upside of Unrequited is nothing like this, at all. Each character has their own personalities, their own quirks and habits and ways of phrasing things. And their sexuality, or the way they identify, doesn't define any of them - it's just the way that they are, and the people they like.

Watching Molly go through her journey of crushes, and trying to find herself a boyfriend so that she can keep up with her twin, Cassie, was such a wonderful, humorous time and so unlike the stories where flirting and crushes come so naturally to people. Especially to someone who would rather saw off their toes with a nail file than admit they have a crush. The only issue that I really found with this book was the pacing. Sometimes the story seemed to drag on, and other times I had hardly enough time to get into what was happening before it was onto the next thing, but I think that's mostly down to this being a type of book that is completely driven by the characters rather than the plot itself.

All in all, I adored this book and I urge everyone who loved Simon to read this immediately. Or anyone who loves funny and quick contemporary reads. This book is such a perfect spring read, and I can't stop gushing about it to anyone who asks (or didn't ask).

"Honestly, the secret to impressing people is this: individual portions, packaged in mason jars."


  1. Ah, I need to read this ASAP. I was kind of sad to learn that Becky's new book didn't feature an LGBTQIA+ character, but the fact that there are still LGBTQIA+ characters that play important roles in the MCs life is amazing. Also: fat rep. Of which there is hardly any in YA.

    Simon would have to be one of my favourite YA books, so I obviously have to give this one a shot whenever I get around to it. Hopefully after June, when I have enforced a no-request ban on myself :')

    I'm so glad you liked this one, Natalie!

    1. Yesssssssss you need to read this and SOON. This was the first book I've read this year that really stood out to me, ahhh i just think it's so special. I hope you love it! :)