Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover (Owlcrate edition)
Spoiler Review: GoodReads
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because 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. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And 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 an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?
Warning: reading this book can and will make you crave cookie dough
Seriously though. I don’t think there’s ever been a book that’s made me drool before.
I wanted a quick book to pass the time, and I made a good choice by reaching for The Upside of Unrequited. It was fun! It was easy! And it made me so incredibly freaking mad!
…so let’s talk about that.
Molly (our MC): She’s artsy, funny, relatable and honest. However, she has a certain type of personality that grates on my nerves: she’s just so nice, to the point where she doesn’t allow herself to be mad, or to hold others accountable. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, mainly because I’ve spent a lot of my life learning not to be an emotional doormat.
The good thing is, this only annoyed me occasionally.
Cassie: Molly’s twin. Cassie reminded me of my sister. My sister is six years older than I am, and we have a lot of issues. And so the fact that Cassie acted like her, and Molly said nothing, really annoyed me.
Cassie was incredibly hypocritical – and even makes Molly feel like the one at fault. And when Molly tried to say something? Cassie didn’t get it – and never said sorry. And Molly, being the “nice” one, let her go. All Cassie said was “I’ve got problems, and I’ve got insecurities” and never acknowledged Molly.
Reid: I had heard people gush about Reid before, but I wasn’t sure I’d like him as much as others. I can now say that I do! He’s so geeky and the Tolkien references were appreciated!
Will, Olivia and Abbey (hello, Simon Vs. references) were all great, and Mina! I think it’s the first time I’ve ever read a character call themselves pansexual openly, and it made me so happy!
The story was semi-typical – but it had a lot more depth and diversity.
The one thing that threw me was the focus on sex and that…that’s the whole point of having a significant other?
I mean, maybe I’m the odd one out, or this is some public school thing I just don’t understand…but this just doesn’t make sense to me. Like, you date someone because you’re interested in them. It’s literally the modern-day equivalent of courting, right?
I don’t know, it just seems really weird to me, and since that was a big theme in this book it threw off my reading experience.
I really liked the parents. Patty was just the best – and her mom! She’s such a typical Jewish mother! I loved it!
The focus on sisters was nice, even when they both got on my nerves. And as I said, these characters are incredibly realistic.
Overall, I preferred Simon vs., but Becky Albertalli still shines in the contemporary genre. Her books are always quick and incredibly diverse, and the characters are almost perfect! (in a writing sense, anyway)
Final Rating: 3.75\5
If you like contemporaries, diversity in contemporaries or relatable characters, you would like this book. However, if you’re not a fan of the contemporary genre then try Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. You’ll thank me later.
Have you read The Upside of Unrequited?