The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Release Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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 with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Okay, don't kill me, but...

I haven't read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Yes, I know, I KNOW. Don't look at me like that. I have the book, and I've met the very lovely Becky Albertalli, AND she signed my copy, on top of that. However, I still haven't, you know, gotten around to actually reading it. Anyway, I was on a boat, bored out of my mind because my brother had stolen my earphones (thanks pal), and I remembered that I brought my Kindle with me. Hooray! I ended up scrolling through the eGalleys I had on it, and stopped at this one. I mean, The Upside of Unrequited? Um, I'm unrequited. Yes, this girl over here. Sounds like me, so sign me up. I got around to reading it, and I couldn't stop.

This book touched upon some really important issues; body image, for instance. I felt like this was such positive representation of a "larger" girl, because let's be real–how many movies or books actually portray the "larger" girl getting the guy at the end? Far too few, my friends, and this book is an amazing step in the right direction. I love reading about girls and guys of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, and this made me so happy. I mean, Molly goes through tough times, but the outcome was just raising-hands emoji.

I hate that I'm even thinking that. I hate hating my body. Actually, I don't even hate my body. I just worry everyone else might.
          Because chubby girls don't get boyfriends, and they definitely don't have sex. Not in movies–not really–unless it's supposed to be a joke. And I don't want to be a joke.
–ch. 17, eGalley*
*text is subject to change

Oh lordy. I identified with Molly so much. The endless crushes, the fact that I'm too chicken to talk to any of them, watching my friends develop their own relationships around me–this story is basically my life. Minus the twin thing, the two moms, and the fact I'm not Jewish and white. But otherwise? Totally me. I feel like this was probably why I connected so much with the protagonist of the story. Because I mean otherwise, she kinda wasn't like me. Definitely a lot more artsy (well, okay, I'm artsy in a different direction), and she has certain quirks that I don't. Besides all that though, she carried herself in a way that I could admire. She's a pretty headstrong character, and despite thinking that she lacks confidence in the boy department, I feel like she's got a good grip on life and navigating the ups and downs of her teenage years. Her sister, on the other hand, kind of annoyed me. I loved Cassie, don't get me wrong, but there were just a few moments in the book I thought she really pushes it too far with Molly. Olivia was a great character, but I wish we saw a bit more of her in the book, and Reid was just darling–we would actually get along, me loving the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, and all that. The characters were super well-rounded and felt real, which made reading this book so much better.

The Upside of Unrequited was beautiful, fierce, funny, touching–all the heart emojis to this book! Becky Albertalli has a wonderful way of capturing the right tone, and I can see why her books are widely adored in the world of young adult fiction, so yes: I will absolutely, without a doubt, be diving into Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (very, very) soon.

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