[Book Review] The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
The Upside of Unrequited is about our main character Molly, who to this date has had 26 crushes on boys but she has never had a boyfriend. Molly's twin sister Cassie has a new girlfriend named Mina, who has been taking up a lot of Cassie's time. Molly develops a crush on Mina's friend Will, and Molly knows if something came out of her crush with Will she may get more time with Cassie (plus she may get her first kiss). However, Molly has met a new boy named Reid at her new job. Reid is a nerdy guy who is easy for Molly to talk to and complicates her crush on Will.
I loved this book for so many reasons. I finished it four days ago and I have been having so many problems trying to properly get my thoughts collected about how much this book means to me. I will not be talking any spoilers in this review.The writing was great and so easy to be immersed into the story, just like it was when reading Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The dialogue is well written and funny. I love the characters, they are easily the best part of the story. I've mentioned this before but I love books that have a focus around family, so I loved that Molly and Cassie's family played a big role in the plot. I also loved the romance, which was really sweet and so real.
"I am entirely made out of butterflies."
I haven't related to a character like I relate to Molly since maybe when I was first introduced to Hermione Granger when I was seven. When I read Molly's thoughts or reactions to the events in her life it was almost exactly the way I thought and would have reacted at seventeen. Also, Reid reminds me so much of my boyfriend (who I met in college when I was seventeen - so it made it even more relatable) in so many ways that it was like Becky Albertalli plucked seventeen/eighteen year old us and put us in this book.
I really appreciated all the diversity being represented in this book. Molly and Cassie's lesbian/bisexual moms (one being a woman of color), their Jewish family, Mina being Korean-American, both Reid and Molly being fat, and Molly struggling with anxiety. I liked that these elements are not what define each character. Cassie isn't known as the lesbian, and Molly isn't known as the fat chick. Those are just parts that make them who they are and I appreciated the normalcy of it all.
"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."
The way Molly felt about her weight is something I related to a lot. She doesn't hate her body, but she knows others have issues with it and it make her self conscious. When it comes to some of her thoughts about her weight and moments with Reid I remember having those same thoughts and moments when I was seventeen. Not all fat girls (or guys) hate their bodies, and although that is true with some people I enjoy that there's the other side. I like seeing fat characters that aren't ashamed of their weight. It will inspire other fat readers who maybe feel the same way, or maybe feel the total opposite but can see the other side more.
I loved Molly and Cassie's relationship as friends and as sisters. They are both going through two separate things, but it all seemed so real. The romance between her and Reid was so sweet and well written. I can't explain how emotional I got not only because of the sweet relationship but because of who Molly became by the end of the story.
"All of a sudden I feel like crying. In a good way. Because I know exactly what she means. It's butterflies and haziness and heart eyes, but underneath all that, there's this bass of I cant believe this. I can't believe this is me."
I obviously highly recommend this book to everyone. This is definitely on my favorite books list of 2017 (favorite ever really) and it is one that means a lot to me. I wish I had it eight years ago when I was seventeen, starting college, and meeting the love of my life. I think this book would have really helped me learn earlier on that it was okay that I didn't hate my body.