I have been a huge fan of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for years, so I was so excited to get to read The Upside of Unrequited. And you guys, this book is INCREDIBLE. It more than lived up to the high expectations I had going in, and it just so perfectly captured what its like to be a teenager and all the emotions that go along with that.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
This book is all about the journey toward discovering the unexpected upsides to situations or components in our lives that we never would have expected to have upsides. It’s about seeing the beauty in yourself, about loving people despite their flaws, and about finding the power in opening yourself up to vulnerability.Because of that I’ve got to pair this book with this beautiful Upside Remedy wine. (As well as a giant bag of Cadbury mini eggs).
*All wine recommendations are strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*
The Nitty Gritty
- Title: The Upside of Unrequited
- Author: Becky Albertalli
- Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
- Pub Date: April 11, 2017
- Pages: 352
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.
There are so many great YA Contemporary novels out there, and this book, along with Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda, is certainly among the best of them.
YA novels are obviously about teenagers, but this book in particular captures the experience of being a teenager so incredibly well. This book made me remember some of the thoughts, emotions, and insecurities I had when I was a teenager that I’d actually forgotten about!
Molly is such a great main character. She has an incredible voice, an incredible heart, and she feels 100% authentic. Reading through her POV didn’t even feel like reading fiction. Molly absolutely came to life for me while I was reading this book. I think so many people can relate to the insecurities and angst that go along with finding the confidence it takes to make yourself vulnerable enough to be in a relationship. Not to mention the anticipation over waiting for that first kiss!
This also beautifully addresses the experience of being so close with your best friend and realizing that life is starting to take you down different paths. That is something that is so emotionally difficult and traumatic for all people, but it is something that you feel so much more when you’re young and experiencing it for the first time, and Albertalli really captured all of those emotions so well.
I loved Molly’s relationships with her wonderful family. Watching them all interact was so much fun and it was written in a way that felt honest and true. I fell in love with each member of this family, and I was so sad to leave them when I finished the book.
I am not part of a minority group and certainly don’t think that I’m qualified to judge whether or not a book has good representation in it. However, Albertalli’s many, MANY sensitivity readers should be considered good judges of that, and I personally loved seeing so much representation of various groups in this book.
This story was lovely. I cannot imagine a better way for Albertalli to follow up her incredible debut of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens. And speaking of Simon, there’s some AMAZING character cameos in this book, and OH, YES! There are Potter references!
This book comes out next month, I personally think EVERYONE should read this book, but if you have a young adult in your life, please, PLEASE share this book with them. I so wish my high school self would have had a copy of this book.
Oh my gosh, I LOVE this cover. I thought it was fun and cute before, but after seeing Albertalli’s epic emoji usage throughout this book, I could not possibly imagine a better cover.
Reid is so great, you guys! I feel like I’m too old to use this phrase, but he is truly TOTES ADORBS! Every interaction between Molly and Reid is just so completely adorable and charming, and I just loved every second of the seeing the two of them on the page together.
Read all about Becky Albertalli here!
Are you a fan of Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda? Are you excited to read The Upside of Unrequited? If you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve already gotten to read it, tell me your thoughts!