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.
It’s official, I’m adding Becky Albertalli to my list of auto-read authors! I’m always skeptical about reading an author’s sophomore novel when I have the debut novel 5 stars because more often that not, the author couldn’t top the first one. And more often than not, the second novel would be dull in comparison to the first novel. However, that was not the case with this book. This book is all sorts of fluffy and cute, and it’s as magical as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which if it wasn’t clear yet, I totally loved.
When I stated reading The Upside of Unrequited, I was not immediately hooked in, just as I wasn’t immediately hooked in when I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I guess with Becky Albertalli novels, you need to let the novel sink in first. As I got to know that characters, I loved them more and more. This book could have potentially been a shallow book, but with Becky Albertalli’s writing style and depth, this book became a book of growth, acceptance, family and forgiveness.
For instance, in this book, Cassie has her first girlfriend, and Molly feels left out because of it. Instead of it being annoying, Becky Albertalli allowed the two to converse and discuss what inevitable might happen - they may fall apart - but they also realized that they would try always to be there for each other. Another example is how Molly wants to get a boyfriend. But more than being a teenager who just wants love, Molly's journey is also about resolving self-esteem issues and realizing that she is beautiful despite her imperfections - or maybe because of it.
What I really love about this book is how the family is not perfect, nor completely dysfunctional. With YA books these days, there is a slight tendency to just go on one extreme end of a spectrum. With this book, they seem like a very happy family, but there is actually conflict happening within - just like in real life. Molly and Cassie may be twins, but they still have their own unique identities. They may be super close, but they still have moments when they didn't like each other very much. I also like how Becky Albertalli showed other types of families with this family, with them having two mothers and having have come from a sperm donor.
In the past few months I have been having trouble connecting with YA books, but I had no problem whatsoever in connecting with this one. I don't have the words to describe how amazing this is, but for me it captures everyday life for a teenager. I like how Becky Albertalli spins everything into a lesson, and I just love how everything wrapped up together. This definitely did not disappoint, and I would want to read any other book Becky Albertalli publishes.