Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Release Date: April 11th 2017
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.