The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Publishing Date: April 11, 2017
Young Adult Contemporary
The Premise from the Publisher: "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?" (HC).
My overall thoughts and review: THIS BOOK.THIS BOOK!! Everyone, it is so hard for me to not simply write in giant caps locks and squee throughout this entire review. I loved this book so much. Ok, but first, confession time: I know everyone loves Albertalli because of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.. I own it and I know exactly where it is at my mother's house, but! I haven't read it yet... *hides* I will rectify the situation immediately. I knew that I wanted to pick this up because a few of my co-workers have been raving about it (thanks, Jen!) and to my luck, it was the book that arrived in this month's Owlcrate! Since reading it, I've already pushed it on a few friends and co-workers. I honestly was grinning the entire time reading this book. Ok, so my thoughts and onto the actual review. The story follows Molly Peskin-Suso who has had many crushes whereas her twin sister, Cassie, has kissed many girls and acted on those crushes. Molly and Cassie are quite close but when Cassie falls in love with Mina, Molly starts to feel like her sister is drifting away from her. I loved how their mom, Deenie's realtionship with her sister, Karen. also played a big role and juxtaposed nicely with Molly and Cassie. As an only child, it was hard for me to really get what Molly was feeling, but Albertalli is such a good writer that the way she conveys feelings, I honestly felt like Cassie was my sister at some moments. I loved the family dynamic with their two moms, Patty and Nadine, and their brother, Xav. Ì also really liked that some of their friends were practically family as well (Olivia and Abby). The text really emphasizes the importance of family and friendship.
Ok, so the main thing I would say that the book does really well is focusing on body-image. Albertalli mentions that she had the help of many sensitivity readers which I`m really glad to see authors going the extra mile to ensure that they are conveying content in an authentic way. As someone who has always had an up and down relationship with their body and weight, Albertalli perfectly conveys what I have thought many times looking in the mirror. I`ve also had many moments where loved ones spoke to me like Molly`s grandma and those moments stung. To have loved ones be hard on you for your weight is definitely something that is hurtful and it is hard to see the intention at times. Albertalli really affirmed the importance of self-love for me after reading this book. I loved that Molly felt beautiful in a moment in the morning with unbrushed hair, pajama pants and toothpaste in the corner of her mouth (321). Don`t get me wrong, the romance is incredibly swoonworthy in this book and I would read a book about Middle-earth Reid entirely, but Molly is not defined by this romance which I really enjoyed. It was coming to terms with who she was, her strengths and her weaknesses. It came down to Molly feeling like "herself" and being happy with who she is. I can't say enough good things about this book. It just has the right amount of everything: friendship, family, romance, sisterhood, body-image and self-love. Like I've said to other people already: The book is simply SO. GOOD. So go run out to your local bookstore and grab a copy immediately (And then message me on twitter so we can squee about it).
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Available for purchase at:
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