*I received a free copy of The Upside of Unrequited from Balzer + Bray via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray on 11 April 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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.
The Upside of Unrequited is pretty much a perfect book. I have not a single complaint, I loved everything from the writing to the characters to the story to the beautiful and extremely strong feels!
I was practically enchanted by The Upside of Unrequited – and I think one of the reasons was because I just understood Molly so very well. How she was a serial crusher, but never dared to completely put herself out there and try to see if the guy liked her back. From the safety of distance, she could crush and feel the butterflies, but make sure she’d never get hurt. And while I didn’t think of it that way when I was her age, now, I think that may very well have been what I was doing, too. I was crushing on guys for various reasons, but I never went any further than finding out what their name was.
All the different relationships were so realistically depicted, and The Upside of Unrequited showed that a good YA can have parents present, and that two moms can be more awesome than a more traditional family. That twins can be similar in some ways and extremely different in others. There were strong friendships, strong family relationships, and new and old friends who got to meet as well. The vibe of getting to know oneself is one that Molly, especially, shared throughout the story, and I really loved to be with her for that self discovery.
Questioning change, understanding the necessity of it, while also seeing how tragic it can be is another very strong theme of The Upside of Unrequited. When we’re on the cusp of adulthood, there are many changes, and some of them are really good while others are really scary. Both Molly and Cassie felt and tasted those changes, and they reacted to them differently. But they also reacted to them in quite similar ways. They both saw their own point of view first, then, with some help, they managed to take a step back an see things from the other’s perspective as well.
The story is from Molly’s point of view, and it’s written mostly in first person perspective, past tense. There are a lot of dialogues, and text messages with emojis, too, to make everything more realistic. All the characters are well fleshed out, and I just feel both so happy and a bit nostalgic and sad at the same time now. The Upside of Unrequited is definitely a must-read, an amazing YA novel that can truly appeal to all ages. Open your mind, and let this fabulous family take you on a small journey of self-discovery, which might also be a trip down memory-lane.
I’m on the toilet at the 9:30 Club, and I’m wondering how mermaids pee. This isn’t random. There’s a mermaid Barbie attached to the door of the bathroom here. Which is a pretty odd choice for a bathroom mascot. If that’s even a thing. Bathroom mascots.
“Perfect! You guys are the same age. I bet you have a lot in common.”
Classic adult logic. Reid and I are vaguely the same age, so of course we’re basically soul mates. It’s like horoscopes. Somehow I’m supposed to believe that I’m similar in some meaningful way to every single person born on my birthday. Or every single Sagittarius. I mean, I barely have anything in common with Cassie, and we were born six minutes apart.
I can’t seem to shake this perpetual awareness of being Molly.
Here’s what I would never, ever admit out loud: a part of me always thought it was some kind of secret compliment when someone got called a slut. It meant you were having sex. Which meant people wanted to have sex with you. Being a slut just meant you were normal. But I think maybe I’m wrong about that.The Upside of Unrequited is Lexxie's newest favorite this year! Five stars. Click To Tweet