The Upside of Unrequited by Beck Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because 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. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And 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 an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

SOURCE:  egalley via Edelweiss for review, finished library copy for reference

Character Highlights:

Molly –  SIGH.  I know her pain all too well.  I too was a larger girl with a fun outgoing sister.  We weren’t quite twins (less than a year apart though) and hated each other (back then at least) but the feelings Molly had were the same.  I even had the same type of grandma who would make horrible comments (though my grandma was bigger than me).  This girl I know.  This girl is real.  This girl is the reality of so many women and teens.

Overall Thoughts –

The Upside of Unrequited is a companion novel to Simon, though very loosely and can be read be itself if you don’t want to read Simon (I don’t know who this person might be) first or at all.

Did I love Simon? YES!!  But.  BUT.   I think I loved Unrequited just a little more.  Molly was beyond relatable to the girl I was in high school and still am in so many ways.  Insecurity lives in all of us, and so many people – mostly females TBH – have issues tied to their looks/weight.  We are raised in a society that no matter how loved you might be at home there will always be someone somewhere judging you at your most vulnerable point that will leave scars that others can’t see.

Basically, representation matters.  Race, religion, orientation, body image.  EVERYTHING.  We all need to see ourselves in books and Ms Albertalli is someone fighting that fight for all of us.  She is writing books reflecting America how it is but isn’t shown fully to everyone – diverse and beautiful.  One day I hope I can meet Becky and give her a hug for not only writing a book adult me loved but teen me would have too.



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