REVIEW: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Series: No

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: April 11, 2017

Format: eARC

Source: Edelweiss

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

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?
Molly is the queen of crushes. Her twin sister Cassie actually keeps track and likes to remind Molly that she's had 26 crushes and has yet to act on a single one. But while flirting and making out with girls seems so natural for the fearless Cassie, it's a foreign concept for Molly.

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. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. 
It's almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.

When Cassie meets her dream girl, Mina, and Molly meets Mina's hipster friend Will, she thinks he's going to be crush #27. But then there's Reid, the decidedly not hip guy at her new summer job. The guy who wears Middle Earth t-shirts and bright white sneakers. Everyone seems convinced that Molly should go for it with Will and finally get her first kiss, and he does seem interested, so why is it that it's with Reid that she feels she can truly be herself?

Molly is a character that just spoke to me. I got her. At about the 40% mark I made this note:

So many aspects of Molly hit close to home and I started to feel as though I was reading about teenage me. She was a girl who lived in her head a lot, was smart and funny but rarely put herself out there and took chances. She wasn't crippled by insecurity but definitely struggled with self-image and self-doubt. There were times I wanted to give her a nudge and tell her to just make an effort already, but at the same time I totally understood her fears and her hesitation.

I hate hating my body. Actually, I don't even hate my body. 
I just worry everyone else might.

I loved the incredibly varied cast of characters and Molly's relationship with each of them. From her sister Cassie and her moms Patty and Nadine, to her cousin Abby (love the connection to Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda!), Reid, Will, Olivia and all the rest. Albertalli made them all come to life and every single one felt realistic and had a purpose

He grins. And then he hugs me. It's kind of a one-armed, sideways, 
squeezy hug. It's over before I can process it, but now my 
insides are one big shaken Coke bottle. 

After two books I am convinced that Becky Albertalli is magic. It's the only explanation for her ability to channel teen characters with such total authenticity. Every thought, every line of dialogue... Albertalli captures the voice of her characters and brings them to life.

The Upside of Unrequited was sweet and smart and funny, totally adorable and completely heartwarming. And I can't recommend it highly enough. If you loved Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, if you love YA contemporary, you will love this book

4.5/5 STARS

Note: This title was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
 

18 comments

  1. I read this yesterday. I couldn't stop reading and just loved it. It was so relatable and loved all the characters. Lovely review!!

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    1. Thanks Grace. I just ate this one up with a spoon. :)

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  2. Aw sounds sweet! It sounds like I can totally relate to that character too. Glad you enjoyed it, great review Tanya! :) ~Aleen

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    1. It was a totally sweet read, Aleen. Just adorable. :)

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  3. Ok, you really made me curious about this one. I love it when you can relate to the character and I really enjoyed you showing us how you related. I think I'm going to be putting this one on my wishlist.

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    1. So glad to hear it, Melissa! I hope you'll love it if you decide to give it a try!

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  4. What a wonderful review! I really loved Molly, and I agree, Albertalli is a fantastic storyteller.
    Sam @ WLABB

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    1. Thanks Sam! I know Upside just came out but I'm already excited for whatever Albertalli does next. :)

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  5. I need this book!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Simon is a favorite book of mine, and I'm so excited that this is another hit. :)

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    1. You definitely do, Lauren! If you loved Simon I think you will love this one, too.

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  6. I so need to read this - Molly sounds amazing and I truly believe that there is NOTHING better than connecting to a character like that - when you just know how they feel and you get it. SO GOOD!

    I miss your face!

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    1. Hey you! I miss you, too! Feels like we haven't connected in a while.
      I can't wait to read your thoughts if you decide to pick this one up.
      Fingers are crossed that you'll love it, too!

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  7. This book sounds so brilliant I want to read it right now! It sounds like the author has weaved her magic into their story yet again, and I'm so eager to see how it's turned out. Great review, Tanya! <3

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    1. Thanks Ruzaika! I have an e-arc of this one but I'll definitely be buying a physical copy for my shelf. It was that special. I hope you'll love it, too, if/when you read it!

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  8. I wanted to read this one so badly. especially after reading your review! Glad you related to Molly so much :)

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    1. It's the perfect YA contemporary! Hope you'll love it, too!

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  9. Adorable! This one is getting so pretty good reviews, and it seems like a feel-good YA!

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    1. It's definitely feel-good YA! :) But not overly sweet/cute because it also includes some important themes/topics and there's some real character growth happening. Just so good!

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