Friday, August 11, 2017

Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Source: Audible
Format: Audiobook

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 (goodreads)?


This was just adorable!
Plot: The Upside of Unrequited was the perfect contemporary book and I really want all Young Adult librarians to recommend it. I'm usually not a big contemporary reader but I think "coming of age" books are my sweet spot. I loved how many topics this book covered and I felt so happy when I finished it. One of the biggest topics was family. Molly feared that she and her twin sister were drifting apart after Cassie began dating Mina. There was also the theme of acceptance in family. As the children of a same-sex couple, Molly had to experience a lot of nastiness and see that family wasn't always as supportive as they should be. I don't know what's up with me lately, but anything that deals with a strong family has me a big puddle of goo. 

Characters: To sum Molly up in one word, it would be "relatable." She was insecure and didn't enjoy being the center of attention. She was anxious at times and often felt judged about her weight. I loved her thoroughly and really want to see Molly in her college years (come on Becky, you know you want to write that). I loved all of the secondary characters, Molly's relationship with her family, and her budding romance with nerdy Reid. It was sweet and made me smile my cheesiest smile. 

Worldbuilding: Molly and her family lived in the D.C. area and Albertalli made good use of her surroundings. Like any teen, Molly and her friends were constantly on the go and hanging out at local spots. I really liked seeing this from Molly's perspective and I'm impressed by how descriptive Albertalli was. 

Narrator Performance: Arielle DeLise did a fantastic job. This was my first time hearing her as a narrator, but I'm sure that I'd love her in anything. I can see her doing a lot of romance books as well. 

Short N Sweet: The Upside of Unrequited was just perfect. 


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