The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 352
Publishing: April 11th, 2017
Publishing: April 11th, 2017
Why I wanted to read this: This one is YA and is from the author of Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which I loved.
Source: In exchange for an honest review, an EARC was received from the publisher for free via Edelweiss Above the TreelineFrom Goodreads: "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."
Seventeen-year-old twins Molly and Cassie are really polar opposites. Cassie is outgoing, fearless and has no problems dating. Whereas, Molly is on her twenty-six crush with no kiss in sight. Molly's crushes are like when "you just finished running a mile, and you have to throw up, and you're starving, but no food seems appealing, and your brain becomes fog, and you also have to pee. It's this close to intolerable. But I like it. More than I like it. I crave it. Because there's nausea and fog, but there's also this: an unshakable feeling that something wonderful is about to happen." Molly is the kind of teenager that feels awkward, self-conscious about their weight, and anxious. She's struggling with wondering what's wrong with her and what she needs to change in order to be found lovable, or even to be asked out on a date. She also begins feeling like an outsider in her group of friends when they start talking about waxings and birth control, things she has nothing to contribute on. Everything for Molly begins to change when her sister meets and begins to date Mina. But, Molly's life is also changing. She begins to realize that she needs to put herself out there, take risks and to be less cautious. I loved her inner dialogue as she navigates her way around the two boys (Middle Earth Reid and Will) that she's become interested in and how we get to see her feelings/struggles "I'm probably paranoid, but now I can't stop thinking about this. I get locked in this cycle sometimes. I develop counterarguments in my head. Actually, gentlemen, I'm intrigued, not enchanted. And I'm anxious, not sad." The beginning of the book initially had a lot of moving pieces in introducing all the various characters, but then there was this point where I really began to empathize with Molly and wanting to know how things turn out for her. The Upside of Unrequited is very diverse, with two moms, talk of sperm donations, Mina, who is pansexual, many POC, and gay/lesbian characters and I loved how Albertalli presents everything in a sort of matter of fact way. The story covers everything from first jobs, crushes, the wanting of a boyfriend, to first kisses and loves. But, what touched and saddened me the most was the way the two sisters were beginning to grow apart. Overall, this was a very heartfelt, amusing, relatable story which I adored. Heck, there's even talk of eggless cookie dough, grocery store competitions including one for the worst frosting flavor and all in all it was just a fun read.
"Certain nights have this kind of electricity. Certain nights carry you to a different place from where you started."