The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 11, 2017 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Special thanks to the publisher and to Jasmine of Jasmine Pearl Reads for the review copy of the book!]
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?
I remember seeing the announcement for this book and wanting to read it immediately because of the title alone.
Unrequited love. I know it too well.
There’s just something terrifying about admitting you like someone. In a way, it’s actually easier when there’s no chance of anything happening. But there’s this threshold where things suddenly become possible. And then your cards are on the table. And there you are, wanting, right out in the open.
I know how it feels to wait for something mutual, because unlike Molly who feared rejection, I came to it like a moth trying to dance with the burning light.
But even if I got burned quite a lot of times, I still hope. I still fight until I finally find myself in a battle where I end up winning.
This is why I’m proud of Molly for choosing to take the risk for love. The romance in this book is too cute to handle. It’s the feel-good read you’ll crave for after a massive book hangover.
Molly & Cassie are sperm donor babies to an interracial couple (one of whom is bisexual), so the story does an awesome job of calling out some of the nonsense everyone faces. A large part of the background story revolves around the moms getting married because it’s finally legal. Their family dynamic was probably my favorite part of the story… especially with their hilarious grandma who was very loving but sometimes said hurtful things despite any good intentions. All of them were just real.
The Upside of Unrequited is the first Becky Albertalli book I’ve read, and I’m definitely watching out for her future works! My heart is always on the lookout for books like these – uplifting stories that make you fall in love with yourself more, no matter what your flaws are.
Final Rating: 4/5