The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited


Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Series: N/A

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: April 11th 2017

Rating:

Four 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?

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I’m not trying to overthink things. I’m trying to be less careful. But you have to be your heart’s own goalie.”

Despite having had twenty-six crushes Molly has never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, never experience anything beyond a crush. Scared of rejection she’s guarded her heart and watched from the sidelines as her friends and Cassie, her twin sister, date and hook up and fall in love. Until Cassie meets Mina and Molly’s sister becomes determined to find Molly a boyfriend, and who better than Mina’s friend Will.

Becky Albertalli’s first book, Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, was a light-hearted story with a cute romance but it was also much more than just a fluffy contemporary and The Upside of Unrequited was the same. I expected a cute romance as Molly tries to get her first kiss, but there was a lot more to this story and what made this book stand out so much were the characters.

“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.”

The more time Cassie spends with Mina, the deeper she seems to fall for the other girl, the more she drifts away from Molly and for the first time Molly has to face up to the fact that maybe her and Cassie won’t always be so close. But, if Molly starts dating Will she’ll have a way back into Cassie’s life. There’s just one problem with that plan, and that’s Reid, Molly’s new co-worker who seems well on his way to becoming crush number twenty-seven for Molly.

Like with most contemporaries I knew where the story was going with The Upside of Unrequited, I knew how it would end and who Molly would end up with, but it was the journey the characters went on in this book that had me hooked on the story. The Upside of Unrequited isn’t just a story about Molly trying to get her first kiss, it’s a story about the relationship between Molly and Cassie, a story about family and love and acceptance.

…The Characters

“I get into this weird place sometimes where I worry about that. I’ve never told anyone this – not my moms, not Cassie – but that’s the thing I’m most afraid of. Not mattering. Existing in a world that doesn’t care who I am.”

Molly loves the feeling of having a crush, the possibility of it, but as a fat girl she has never been brave enough to put herself out there, too scared of rejection to show her heart to anyone. As her friends and her sister are putting themselves out there, dating and falling in love, Molly feels like she’s being left behind. She’s the last to be kissed, the last to fall in love, and as Cassie starts drifting away from Molly as she gets closer to Mina that feeling only grows in Molly.

While reading this book I instantly connected to Molly; she’s quieter than her sister, more insecure and introverted than the brave and outgoing Cassie. She’s into arts and crafts and baking, and she’s very self conscious about her weight and all of these were aspects of her character I could relate to which just made me love Molly all the more.

“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.

The more time Molly spends with Reid the more the two of them become friends, and I loved reading their developing relationship. Like Molly Reid is an awkward character but he and Molly connect and where she still feels unsure of herself around Will she doesn’t with Reid.

The sibling relationship between Molly and Cassie was one of my favourite parts of this book. The two have always been incredible close but when Mina comes into Cassie’s life it almost seems as if she’s pushing Molly out. Molly worries a lot over her and Cassie drifting too far apart and being left behind, and it’s those fears that make her reach out to Will. After all if she and Cassie are dating best friends they’ll have that extra connection keeping them close together.

“Here’s a frustrating thing about me: if everyone else is happy, I usually can’t stay pissed off. My moods are conformists. It sucks, because sometimes you really want to be angry.”

There was an incredible family dynamic in The Upside of Unrequited, and I loved reading about Molly’s family. It wasn’t just her and Cassie and their mum’s in this book; we saw the bond they had with their grandmother, the strain between one of their mother’s and their aunt, the close friendship between Molly and Cassie and cousin Abby. We got a glimpse of the extended family that shaped Molly’s life, and it really added to the story and her character development.


The Upside of Unrequited is a perfect book to pick up if you’re looking for a quick read you can finish in a day but you want more than just a fluffy contemporary story. As well as having a cute romance there’s so much diversity in this book, Molly herself was a character I found it easy to identify with, and there were even some cameos of the characters from Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

What did you think of The Upside of Unrequited? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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36 thoughts on “The Upside of Unrequited

  1. I kind of had to skim this review because I think I plan on reading it sometime this coming year! I’ve wanted to read this ever since I read Simon but I’ve always been distracted by the fantasies that have come out LOL. Albertalli seems to do a great job in portraying diversity as well as family dynamic. I especially love when authors focus on sibling relationships, seeing as I can easily relate to it! And if there’s some cameos from Simon, then I’m definitely on board with this one! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I hope you manage to get around to it soon then, but yeah I get what you mean about being distracted by all the fantasy books that have been released. There have been so many incredible ones this year right? 😀
      Oh she really does, between this one and Simon Vs I think the family relationships she writes are my favourite part of her books. Ha, it was the cameos from Simon that sold me on picking this one up as well. 🙂
      Thanks Azia! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Beth ❤
    So glad that you enjoyed this book! I also love Molly – she is probably one of the characters I relate to most in YA 🙂 You are right in that it is easy to predict which guy she will end up with in the end, but it was still interesting to read about the journey!
    There are cameos from Simon Vs!??! I must have completely missed those :O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophie. 🙂
      Yeah this ended up being one of those books I kicked myself for not picking up sooner. It was a great read. I think when it comes to YA the journey is what makes the books, especially in contemporary when you can usually tell there’ll be a happily ever after.
      Yeah I nearly missed them as well, I think I caught them very close to the end (the Abby that is Molly’s cousin is the Abby that is Simon’s friend).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yes now that you mention it- there are a lot of HEAs in contemporary books (or even YA in general?) Now when I read a book with a less than happy ending such as Our Dark Duet, I am surprised by it. I suppose that is a good thing because we want stories to end happily :’)
        Oh!!!!!! I knew there was an Abby in each book but I never put it together until now! Wow that’s awesome 😀 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I definitely want my stories to end happily, especially when it comes to contemporary. Fantasy I can take or leave (but I do prefer a happy ending I have to admit). 🙂
        It took me ages to, it was only when she mentioned Simon for like the second time pretty much at the end of this one that I connected the dots in my head! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one of the books I’d re-read just to get that feel good feeling being amongst family. I really enjoyed the relationships between Molly, her sister, and their moms. I also loved how well fleshed out Molly’s character is & that we got to see her hobbies like Pinterest & DIY arts & crafts projects, just made her more real to me. I’m so glad you enjoyed this story even if it wasn’t quite a 5 star, the hype can def do a book in sometimes lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely going to be one of the books I re-read at some point, just like Simon Vs will be as well. 😀
      Oh the development was incredible, and it was great to see that the story wasn’t all about Molly finding a boyfriend, there was also her other interests outside of that and her family dynamic and the development of her family as well. Basically this is what I want all YA contemporary books to be like. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OHMYGOSH YES!!!! I couldn’t agree more Beth, I really enjoy books that show more than just a romance. This one had so many layers I found enjoyable & I can’t wait to read her next book Leah on the Offbeat! *eeeeeK* STOKED!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you’re right: everyone going on about it made me unfairly expect a lot from it. It was still good but not the amazing thing everyone made it out to be. I’m glad that I loved this one though – it’s definitely made me a fan of Becky Albertalli.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so fussy with contemporary and I rarely pick it up. I started this one unsure – everyone raved about ‘Simon’ and I just felt underwhelmed by it.

    But I absolutely LOVED this book. It was cute and sweet and Molly was a great character with a relatable voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh, I’m so glad you loved this one Beth! I’m a bit hesitant to read it since I heard about some other negative aspects of the book, but if there are cameos from Simon Vs. and if Becky wrote it, I’m definitely going to try it out! And it’s great to hear all the family dynamics & diversity in this, we definitely need more of that in YA. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks May. 🙂 Oh I haven’t heard anything negative about this book, possibly a good thing because if I’d read negative reviews I would have been on the look out for the downsides you know? The cameos were a lot of fun when I spotted them, and it’s worth picking up this book for the family relationships and diversity alone. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful review, Beth. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda really grew in fame when it released. I had no clue what it was about, but I did see it everywhere. Didn’t the trailer for a movie adaptation recently release for it too? 😮 I’m glad to hear this book was just as amazing. The family dynamics sound awesome and every character seems to have been done super well. Here’s to more books awesome books from this author! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lashaan. 😀 Yeah Simon Vs. was a very hyped up release but it was a really amazing book, I loved it. 🙂 The trailer has been released, I’ve seen it and I can’t wait for the film now either. I’ll definitely be seeing it when it’s released in cinemas.
      The Upside of Unrequited was just as amazing and the family dynamic was really well done as well so it just added to the story. Ha, yeah anything Becky Albertalli writes is going to make it onto my to-read list now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a great review, Beth! I loved Simon vs. but didn’t get the chance to read this book just yet – I can’t wait though, even more now after reading your lovely review. I’m so happy there is great family vibes in this book and interesting siblings relationships, I love that so, SO much in my contemporaries 🙂 Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 Oh I know what you mean because it took me a little while to get around to The Upside of Unrequited as well but it was worth the wait in the end. Hopefully you’ll agree when you get around to it as well. Great family and sibling relationships is something I love so much in contemporaries too so I was thrilled to see it in this book. 🙂
      Thanks Marie! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I really like the sound of this- especially how you said it’s more than just a fluffy romance. And the relatable characters and the great family dynamic sounds right up my street 😀 I love books that feature good sibling relationships in general 🙂 This sounds like such a good contemporary- great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s a great read, and yeah it’s not that I don’t love fluffy contemporaries now and again but The Upside of Unrequited is more than just that. 🙂 If you love family dynamics then I can’t recommend this book enough, as much as this was a romance story it was also a story about siblings and family too.
      Thanks so much! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I skimmed this one, again… I’m completely on the fence about whether or not I actually want to read it. I can feel it going into the same box as The Fault In Our Stars – the hype keeps putting me off and I just can’t see myself reading it any time soon :-/ I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this one, though!

    Liked by 1 person

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