Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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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?

This book honestly really surprised me! I thought I was over cutesy YA romances like this but it turns out I can’t help but have a soft spot for them. And it also turns out that my friend Amy knows me even better than I know myself, because she sent this to me knowing how much I’d love it!

Before I start, this book isn’t perfect. I’d rather finish on the good, so I’m going to start with the little bad there is. Even though I enjoyed it, it is predictable and all of the characters have their…problems. For example, there was a few places that made me cringeeee. Basically, Molly (the main character), talks to her cousin Abby and the conversation almost suggests Abby is a slut because she slept with her serious boyfriend of 4 months. Why is that even a consideration? It’s up to Abby whether she sleeps with her boyfriend or not. If they were ready at 4 months, great. If they were ready sooner, great.

“You would matter. That’s the thing. I get into this weird place sometimes where I worry about that.”

But apart from a few little things, I did love this book. I had to put myself into my mind a year or two ago, but I couldn’t help but really enjoy this. It is exactly how I felt when I was Molly’s age and crushing. She felt so real to me. I love how much I could relate to her and her situation. Molly wasn’t perfect but who is? And this book was so diverse, with so many LGBT and POC characters! Sometimes I struggled to remember Molly was still growing up (I was a little more mature than her at the same age), but that was just her as a person, and I could sympathise with that.

“I’ve never told anyone this – not my moms, not Cassie – but that’s the thing I’m most afraid of. Not mattering. Existing in a world that doesn’t care who I am.”

Maybe this book says something about me, because I feel like I’m one of the only readers who didn’t find Molly a little annoying because I found her so relatable. I loved that Molly suffered with anxiety and that was part of her character. I loved that she was fat and that was discussed in relation to how she was feeling. I loved her addiction to Pinterest.

So overall, this book feels like a guilty pleasure to me. I just couldn’t help but fall completely in love with it. Molly is the perfect representation of a 17 year old girl with low self-confidence. Her story, and the stories of the people around her, brought tears to my eyes even though I kind of knew what was about to happen. If you love romance and have a secret obsession with contemporaries, please go and read this. It’s beautiful and perfect and includes many, many Mini Eggs. It’s the definition of cute and fluffy, but it warmed my heart so much.

★★★★
4 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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4 thoughts on “Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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