Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of UnrequitedSeventeen-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, 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, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

I loved her first book, and this was just as funny and as diverse, and I loved it. We are dropped right into Molly's world of weirdness, with her much braver twin sister, her supportive mums, her best friends and her new job that puts her in the path of Reid. 

I saw so much of myself in Molly - maybe not so much in the ridiculous amount of crushes, but definitely the fear of putting yourself out there and being the complete opposite of confident with your body. Molly has had a total of 26 crushes, spanning the years and the types, but it's only now that she thinks maybe she could put herself out there and actually tell them she likes them. 

So the love interests. Technically we met Will first but as he was the friend of the girl Molly was pushing towards her twin Cassie, all Molly noticed was he was hipster hot. Then we met Reid, the geeky and sweet boy who works in the shop with her. I was rooting for Reid from the get-go. Molly never really seemed all that interested in Will, it was more like an acknowledgement that he was attractive. Not to mention there was plenty of mixed messages with Will, between being too drunk or too worried.

When Cassie gets together with Mina, not only is it super adorable, but it also marks the end of an era with Molly and Cassie. They have always been each other's first call but this is the sucky part of growing up, that it's not like it was when you're young; first loves and getting older changes the relationships you have, especially with siblings and parents. And it did take some adjusting but Molly's anxiety makes her see things as worse than they are, so there is some harsh and bitter fights for a time. Ah, family.

Now, I can't not mention all of the diversity! Multiple homosexual characters, pansexual love interest (for Cassie), anxious protagonist (who happened to be fat and love food - but no body shaming!), black characters, bisexual characters, Jewish characters - and then a same-sex wedding! All of this squished just effortlessly into a heartwarming coming of age story that also discusses love, sex, feminism, inequality with racism and sexism, and mental health. A great story that has just about everything, and one that has sky-rocketed to the top of my favourites. 

Published 11th April 2017 by Penguin. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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