Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Written by: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 11, 2017 by Balzar + Bray (HarperCollins)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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?

I absolutely loved Simin Vs. and so when I heard Becky was going out with a new book I was so excited to read it. And just like her debut this was a great contemporary full of sweet romantic moments, humor, and the complexities of life.

The thing that I liked most about this book was the characters. It's not often that I relate so hard to a character but Molly Peskin-Suso is one of those rare characters that I completely saw myself in. Part of this of course is Becky's talent for writing complex and realistic characters that are relatable and interesting. But honestly, so much of it was also just that Molly and I are a lot alike. One of the best things about Molly is that she's not perfect. She's awkward and insecure and sometimes her anxiety and fear of rejection makes it really hard for her. It was really interesting and refreshing to see a character who is dealing with a metal health struggle in a genuine way, especially one that mirror my own. Molly was a Greg character and easy to root for.

But the book had plenty of fantastic characters. This is a book that is full of secondary characters and each of them engaging and different. I really like Molly's moms and it was cool reading a book about someone who have LGBT+ parents. I also really liked the relationship between Molly and her sister Cassie. They went through a very realistic period where they go from best friends to not being so close and I found that relationship super realistic and relatable.

But of course I have to talk about the romance here. This is a book about someone who is always crushing on guys and never takes the next step until two guys come along. I was worried about there being a lot of swooning and thankfully there wasn't. Molly's crushes made sense and they worked. I was also worried about there being a love triangle and there wasn't. It wasn't all simple and easy but there was a clear front runner. I was absolutely Team Reid. Reid was so freaking adorkable and sweet. I really liked him and thought him and Molly were so cute together. I'm not sure why I was worried about the romance, I should have trusted that Becky would do it right and she totally did.

But in general this is just one of those contemporaries that was the line between serious and fun perfectly. There are some really serious and intense moments both internally for Molly and externally with the people around her. But the book never gets too preachy and it never beats you over the head with the lesson. It does a really good job of entertaining and informing. Plus it's fun and cute. There are some super sweet romantic moments and there are some really funny moments. It's not as laugh out loud as Simon Vs but it's really well-balanced.

I absolutely loved this book. It had great characters, an interesting storyline, and the right balance between serious and light-hearted. Becky has once again crafted an amazing book.

I give The Upsode of Unrequited by Becky Albertali 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! Yup, absolutely read this book. It's not as funny as Simon Vs. but it had the perfect balance between serious and light-hearted. Contemporary fans should absolutely read.

Have you read The Upside of Unrequited? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING.

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