Hello happy readers! I hope you are all excited for your weekend. I’m working which is no fun but hey making the most of it. Going to try and get some reading time in and take advantage of the summer time lag. That said the other day I finished a book by an author I just adore and the book spoke to me and I can’t wait to discuss it with you. That book is The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. I previously read and loved her book Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (which was made into Love, Simon) and I reviewed both here: Book / Movie.
Molly has had twenty-six crushes in her seventeen years of life. Each one has been a secret from the other person and only known to her twin Cassie and her dear friends. Molly can’t stand the idea of rejection and thus is careful because she’s overweight and finds it impossible anyone would want her that way. Then her twin who kisses lots of girls and shares the details suddenly meets someone that turns her into a lovesick mess who doesn’t share things like she used to. Now she is being left behind, unless she can woman up and go for it with funny and flirtatious hipster Will, best friend to her sisters crush. Maybe she could stay centered with her sister and find her first kiss. Only she has trouble talking to boys, well accept her new co-worker Reid who is into all things nerd who she couldn’t fall for right?
So I have to start off with how much I loved this story. I was so caught up in it from start to finish. I related to Molly in ways I haven’t related to characters in the past. She is me. Her self-conscious fears, body issues, and over thinking fear is totally me for most of my life. All of my teenage life and most of my adulthood. I still have moments where I go there. Seriously most of her thoughts I have had. It was so surreal. It also made Molly the most real character out there. This book is full of diversity in all forms and expressed in such a positive way. I loved that our MC was overweight and an overweight girl who likes to bake too. She has all this real fear that anyone can suffer from in crushing on people. Being rejected is horrible so many people in more than dating understand that. She has two moms and Molly and her twin were from a sperm donor all of which is discussed and so much more. I loved the way it was treated as normal because it is.
“Even if he likes me, I’m not sure he’d like me naked. I hate that I’m even thinking that. I hate hating my body. Actually, I don’t even hate my body. I just worry everyone else might. Because chubby girls don’t get boyfriends, and they definitely don’t have sex. Not in the movies—not really—unless it’s supposed to be a joke. And I don’t want to be a joke.”
The characters were all unique and diverse and until I went to write this review I totally didn’t realize that a character from Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was in this but yep special guest appearance but I hadn’t read Simon in a while so I didn’t put two and two together until after. That said I would say read Simon first just in case of spoilers. Molly was my girl and I enjoyed getting to know Reid, he was kind of everything. Cassie had her moments for me as I have had friends like her in the past who can mean well but sometimes push too hard or who suddenly disappear into a relationship. But I loved the dynamic. That this wasn’t just about relationships with boys or girls but between sisters. Molly and Cassie are a central part of this and their bond. The idea of growing apart. That is just as scary if not more so than being rejected.
The Upside of Unrequited is a story about love in all its different forms. The love you have for family in good and bad times. The love you have for yourself flaws and all. And of course the love for someone else. There were so many amazing moments in this I couldn’t pick one for anything but one of my many favorites was the supermarket games, though I did take mild offense to the “crappy” song picks! I still have them on my play list! It made me laugh and full on ugly cry at one point. Seriously I was going to finish a character I was on then go hang with my bestie and then that chapter just hit me and I had get a few more in to get to a less sad place. Albertalli has a gift for hitting real emotional chords that is for sure! I highly recommend her as an author for real authentic and diverse characters. She gives them a voice, one I wish I had been able to read and enjoy while I was growing up.
Until next time…