The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Published: 11th April 2017Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Puffin
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

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, 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? 

There is so much to love about this book. I found myself smiling like an idiot at times, other times with just a slight constant smile because everything was so wonderful, and not even in a cheesy way. What is wonderful about this is Molly is falling for the non-typical guy. The Reid’s of the world, not the Wills like movies and books have told us in the past. WHICH I LOVE!

I am in love with Reid myself, but I am a dag who actually loves when people are in love with something and don’t care whether it’s uncool (which it very rarely is). Plus he’s a sweetie and isn’t some profound teen who has Insights and Thoughts about the world. It’s not that Will isn’t a sweetie, which is important because then you realise she isn’t just liking Reid because Will is a bad person. She likes Reid because Reid is her type of guy, Will isn’t. He’s nice, they may have been a good first boyfriend team as Molly says, but Will isn’t Molly’s type. Will was actually great, he seemed to mock his own hipsterness and he also wasn’t the guy who had Thoughts and Insight and Opinions that wowed our main girl. Albertelli did very well on that front.

Molly’s reservations are not unjust (well yes, but no). She doesn’t overreact; she doesn’t go wild and crazy in rebellion. I will admit I may have liked it more than Simon (forgive me), but I do love them both. I also know yearning for a boyfriend isn’t the be all and end all, and shouldn’t be shown to be, but I think how Albertelli shows Molly’s twenty six crushes and desire for a boyfriend is different than just wanting one. She wants to fit in, she wants to have a connection with her sister and her girlfriend. I think because Molly feels like an outsider at times she just wants what other people get seemingly so effortlessly. The sisterly relationship between Molly and Cassie is wonderful and realistic and Albertelli highlights how hard it can be being sisters and twins but also being your own people. I also like the friendships in this, they’re complicated and new and weird but it works.

There are so many positive things in this book; there is a realistic and healthy approach to teens around love, sex, body etc, also a great diversity of characters with numerous POC and queer relationships that are portrayed as normal non-occurrences. There is the inclusion of a racist character which puts things into a perfect uncomfortable position because after reading about this normal family with two mums and a lesbian daughter, plus multiple different genders and relationships one racist grandmother throws a spanner into the works and makes you realise just how dumb she is being and how ludicrous her arguments are.

There is so much I could talk about this book, the characters are incredible, the dialogue is incredible, the entire book is incredible. For every amazing moment in this book I want to mention I think of three more. There’s so much that makes this a wonderful book, not only the characters but the messages Albertelli sends out about who you are and the relationships you have. It’s a fantastic book and one everyone should read.

You can purchase The Upside of Unrequited via the following

Dymocks | Book Depository

QBD | Fishpond

BookWorld | Amazon

Wordery | Amazon Aust

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