The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Published by: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen on April 11th 2017
Review Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Plot: Molly is a serial crusher, with 26 unrequited loves under her belt, but things heat up when #27 turns out to be different.
Review: When I saw that Albertalli was coming out with another book, I literally squealed. Not a little squeal either, it was a full on pterodactyl screech.
I am a huge fan of Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda, so this one made it to the top of my TBR. The story follows Molly, polar opposite and twin sister of Cassie. Where Cassie is outgoing and a dating expert, Molly is shy and still awaiting her first kiss. When Cassie falls head over heels for Mia, the two lovebirds set out to pair Molly up with Mia’s best friend, Will, a.k.a. crush #27. On the outside, everything seems to be leading towards a nice little double date extravaganza, until Molly meets Reid. Molly is then placed on a path towards identifying and coming to terms with not only her feelings towards others, but herself as well.
While the whole read was magical, here are a few things that really made the book for me:
- I am soooo Team Molly. First of all, I really appreciated that Molly is her own character, with her own book. As a loose companion novel to Simon, I was glad to see this book stand on its own. I also adored her. Molly is absolutely my sister form another mister (or mistress ;)). She’s big into Pinterest, ultra-crafty, wickedly funny, and oh so genuine. I saw a lot of myself in her, and any time she wants to come and have a Pinterest party, I’m down. Her style sounds quaint AF. She struggles with anxiety, body image, and the awkwardness of dating in general, all of which were challenges I had at her age (an into adulthood). Characters like Molly provide guidance and an ally for those in a similar situation, to which I thank Albertalli for.
- I heart Reid. How do I explain the joys of Reid? He basically sounds like this big, gentle giant with electric white sneakers and an epic t-shirt collection. He loves high fantasy and Renaissance festivals. He’s the kind of guy that will give you a flagon full of Cadbury Eggs. Basically, he’s a keeper.
- Diversity of Characters. There are two types of “diversity” found in books. There is forced diversity, where the book feels more like someone went down a token character checklist, and organic diversity, which is what Albertalli offers. Molly’s world is full of every family dynamic, race, culture, and sexual orientation. It’s not stilted, the diversity is just there. Fully actualized and normal, which is life and awesome.
- Undeniable honesty and genuineness. This last one is really just me gushing over Becky Albertalli. I feel like every book she writes it a small piece of her own heart. They are raw and honest and wonderful. Becky, if you’re reading, thank you. It means a lot to readers like me when writers like you shoot for honesty, integrity, and openness. We need more books like yours.
Final Hoot: I just loved this one so damn much. All the stars. All the hearts. All the Cadbury eggs.
Rating: The hootiest of 5 out of 5 hoots.
Who Should Snag It: Everyone.
*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*