• Page Count: 352
  • Release Date: April 11, 2017
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • My Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

The Upside of Unrequited 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. Right?


My Thoughts:

THIS is how you write a diverse book with realistic characters!! This whole thing was hilariously real and wonderfully done.

Let me just lay out the these characters to start with:

Molly: the main character. She is obsessed with Pinterest, shops at Modcloth, is fat, Jewish, and has had 27 crushes without ever being kissed. I absolutely LOVED her character. When a guy tells her she’s “gorgeous for a big girl” she just says “fuck you.” A lot of her story focuses on getting a boyfriend, but it’s more of an analysis of the most relatable thoughts:

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back… it’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.”

“Because chubby girls don’t get boyfriends, and they definitely don’t have sex. Not in movies — not really — unless it’s supposed to be a joke. And I don’t want to be a joke.”

Cassie: Molly’s lesbian twin sister who gets a girlfriend at the start of the story. Molly has to figure out how her relationship with her sister will evolve as they grow up.

Molly & Cassie are sperm donor babies to an interracial couple (one of whom is bisexual), so the story does an awesome job of calling out some of the nonsense everyone faces. A large part of the background story revolves around the moms getting married because it’s finally legal. Their family dynamic was probably my favorite part of the story… especially with their hilarious grandma who was very loving but sometimes said hurtful things despite any good intentions. All of them were just real.

There were a ton of other awesome characters like Mina (Cassie’s candid & pansexual girlfriend), Olivia (their friend with blue-streaked hair whose experience dating the horrible Evan Schulmeister led to some awesome feminist convos), Hipster Will (the guy everyone’s trying to set Molly up with), and Reid (the adorable nerd Molly works with who wears Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones shirts).

The story itself was a pretty basic plot of testing new relationships and where you stand in the world. But Molly’s hilarious narration, the realistic dialogue, and all of the characters made the book SO strong. There were so many wonderful, positive messages in here that I can’t recommend it enough. I really think this will be one of the top YA books of 2017 and can’t wait to see all of the love it gets!!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!

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12 comments on “Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli”

  1. I’m really looking forward to this one! I didn’t read the author’s other book, but I might try to get my hands on it before this one comes out.

  2. I hadn’t heard of this author before, this sounds refreshing! The cover isn’t my taste. But I will add this book, thank you!

  3. Super excited to read this! I’m trying to read more diverse books in 2017 and this is definitely part of my goal now!

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