The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli

Release date: 11 April 2017
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ – 10/10
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Book Depository link

The Upside of Unrequited blurb:

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 Tolkein superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way that Molly could fall for him.

Right?

Sometimes in life you read a book that is so amazingly perfect that it makes you laugh and cry and reminds you of yourself and your life and all the feelings.  I used to think that book was Eleanor and Park.  I now know that was wrong.  For me, this book is The Upside of Unrequited.

I got this book in an Owl Crate box, and thought, ‘yeah, it looks ok.  I’ll read it soon.’  I added it to my TBR pile for this month because I thought I should probably read it.  To be honest, I was going to skip it and read Scarlet or start the Raven Cycle.  I am immensely glad that I just took the plunge and started reading this.  Yesterday.

Albertalli tells the story of seventeen year old Molly.  Like the drug, Molly.  But nothing like the drug, Molly.  We kind of skirt around that fact that Molly has anxiety – it’s not a big thing, it doesn’t define her, and it’s managed.  Molly is just your normal seventeen year old teenager.  Who has never had a boyfriend, or been kissed, who has two mums, and a twin sister who likes girls, and a toddler brother.  Molly is just starting her summer before being a senior.  She is starting her very first summer job.  And Molly is just like I was at that age – overweight.  (When I went bridal dress shopping the other week the lady called me ‘voluptuous’.  That doesn’t make it any better.  It still means fat.  How hard is it to just not say anything?  Seriously, I know what I look like…  Also, you don’t need to call me voluptuous like 70 times (slight exaggeration) within the space of an hour.  That probably made it worse.)

The story is simple, it’s a contemporary young adult fiction about a set period of time in a young girl’s life.  Molly and her twin, Cassie, go through some serious sister problems, while her mum’s go through their own.  Sometimes life gives you everything at once.  This is the story that Fangirl should have been, but I’m glad it wasn’t, because then we wouldn’t have gotten Carry On.

Albertalli’s writing is magical.  It’s smooth and gentle, but gripping and emotional.  I cried about 12 times (no exaggeration) while reading this.  I don’t think I could recommend this book highly enough, and it is going to be one of very few that will sit on that ‘extra-ordinary’ special shelf I have.  It’s the same shelf that Empire of Storms and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix sits on.

****************************************

That’s the end of the review – I’m just going to fangirl over here for a minute…

This book undid me in so many ways.  I was Molly growing up (but without the twin sister and the two mums and the Zoloft).  I was not skinny.  I had crushes.  I was friends with ‘popular’ girls, but wasn’t popular myself.  Every time a boy spoke to me it was to ask about a cool friend.  I was basically the DUFF.  And the Will thing!  So often was there a ‘set-up’ that I didn’t want to happen.  Anyway, I just really loved this book.  That’s all!!!! xx

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