Title: The Upside of Unrequited (2017)
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genres: Young adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, LGBTQ+ and Family
Publisher: Penguin Radom House UK Children’s
Release Date: 11th April 2017
Reviewed by: Lois
“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.”
I should start off by saying I did not read “Simon Vs. the Homosapien Agenda” before I read this book. I feel as though because of this I did miss out on the cameos from “Simon Vs.” that are included in this book. I would highly recommend that you do read “Simon Vs.” before going into this book, you will be able to spot the cameos and understand them a lot more. I will certainly be re-reading once I have read “Simon Vs.”
I now understand why a lot of people adore Becky Albertalli’s work. Her writing feels very authentic and genuine. “The Upside of Unrequited” is an extremely diverse book. I feel that a lot younger adult books are diverse now-a-days. But still a lot of young adult books aren’t diverse. This isn’t the case when it comes to this book. The main character Molly is Jewish and from a mixed-raced family, there is a Korean-American side character. This book also includes underrepresented body types. Molly is fat and has anxiety which she takes medication for. Molly’s twin sister Cassie is a lesbian and likes a Korean-American pansexual. Molly and Cassie are sperm-donor babies and have two mums. I adored the fact that Molly holds her relationship with her family so highly. It was lovely to read a story when the main character was so concerned about her relationship with her family, specifically with her sister.
Molly is a lovely character to read about. She might get self-conscious but she loves herself for who she is. Cassie just seems like an awesome sister. Their mums are extremely funny but also amazing parents and I loved that the family dynamic is a huge part of the story. Their Grandma, although she says some hurtful things, has good intentions. There are a lot of other awesome characters such as Oliva who has blue-streaked hair and her horrible dating experience with Evan Schulmeister brings up some interesting feminist conversations. Also, Reid the nerd that Molly works with who is a huge Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones fan.
This book also had an incredibly realistic portrayal of teenagers. They lie to their parents, they talk about relationships, they over-exaggerate and get jealous. They panic over your typical teenage things, they underage drink. It didn’t make being a teenager seem like the perfect walk in the park. The teenagers in this book are shown in a way that is very true to real-life which I enjoyed.
The story itself has quite a basic plot of finding your place in the world and new relationships. But Molly’s hilarious narration and how realistic the book felt made this book an incredible read.
I didn’t feel completely emotionally invested in the story. This has absolutely nothing to do with the plot, characters, messages expressed or Becky Albertalli’s writing as I did enjoy every aspect of the book. I feel it is just one of those books that you read extremely quickly because of how much you enjoy it and leave the story entertained. So, not being fully emotionally invented isn’t a bad thing.
Overall, I highly recommend “The Upside of Unrequited”. It is a fast read for sure. The book contains a lot of positive and wonderful messages which is why I cannot recommend it enough. I feel as though this book will speak to a variety of readers so I am recommending it to everyone. I’m sure that this book is going to be one of my favourites of 2017!
Thank you to Becky Albertalli, Penguin Random House UK Children’s and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Until next time,