Becky Albertalli’s second novel, The Upside of Unrequited, was another touching story that had me addicted until the very last word.
Molly Peskin-Suso has gone through unrequited love twenty-six times. She’s always careful about avoiding the possibility of something happening in fear of rejection, no matter how many times her twin sister tries to convince her to make a move.
When her twin, Cassie, finally meets a cute new girl who might not be a two week fling, Molly’s feeling the loneliness creeping in on her. Luckily, the cute new girl has a cute male friend who is perfect crush (or maybe more!) material for Molly.
But Molly finds herself at a stalemate as her new coworker Reid is making her feel all sorts of things. Molly’s going to have to figure out how to navigate these new changes in her life.
Read the official summary here.
Becky is now one of my auto-buy authors, aka authors I will automatically buy anything from because her writing is just so amazing.
I read The Upside of Unrequited the day after finishing Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda & sped through the novel. Then I was upset because I had no more Albertalli material to read (aka I’m a lost soul waiting for her next novel).
Albertalli’s writing has a way of hooking the reader in. She manages to keep the atmosphere light and fluffy (sometimes depressing books can be hard to read because they put me in a terrible mood) while still being respectful and addressing lots of real, relevant issues.
The plot flowed really nicely as we have both external subplots (romance with Reid, sister fights, etc.) as well as Molly’s internal struggles (her body image, shyness, etc.). Both her internal and external issues balance out well so this novel was a happy medium between introspective character development and more action-fueled plot.
Molly is such a relatable person. She goes through struggles all of us go through–doubting our body image and floundering through romance. She is simultaneously sweet and headstrong, although she doesn’t realize how amazing she is.
Her life is changing rapidly and Molly’s just trying to keep her head above water. Cassie has finally fallen into almost love and it’s making Molly feel things and driving a wedge between their twin bond. The new boy seems to be so right for her, but why does it feel so wrong?
The growing divide between Molly and her sister is one of the largest plot points in the novel and I think that their relationship, with all its ups and downs, is something that a lot of readers would love to read about.
All of this mashes together into a humorous and moving story for Molly and how she grows as a person. She’s such a dynamic character and the reader is able to see her grow as a person throughout.
I love how Albertalli manages to make us laugh and cry even though a lot of the book deals with serious topics. It makes the reading experience so much better.
The romance was absolutely adorable. It seems like a common theme in Albertalli’s novels, but the right person for you might not be the one you expected–it might be that quiet boy a few seats over or your coworker who can always put a grin on your face.
Molly struggling through her first real romance was lovely to read about and something I think everyone can relate to. It’s hopeful and unapologetically truthful.
One of my favorite parts about the novel was the diversity present throughout. Not only do we have multiple body type representations (Molly has medication that causes changes in her weight), but Molly’s moms are super cool. I love the LGBTQ+ portion of this novel as they celebrate the legalization of same sex marriage at a point in the novel.
Overall, I found The Upside to Unrequited to be another awesome Albertalli novel about first love, friendship, and family. I would whole heartedly recommend this (and Simon Vs.) to everyone looking for a pick-me-up or an easy read.
Have you read any of Albertalli’s novels? What did you think?