The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited

Book - 2017
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Avoiding relationships to protect her sensitive heart, plus-sized Molly supports her once-cynical twin, Cassie, when the latter has her own bout of lovesickness, a situation that is complicated by sibling dynamics and an unexpected romantic triangle.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062348708
0062348701
Characteristics: 340 pages ; 22 cm

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liljables Oct 31, 2017

Molly Peskin-Suso is 17 years old, and she's been in love 26 times, but not once has her love been reciprocated. Now, there's nothing wrong with Molly - she's a bright, creative, friendly teenager who happens to be fat - but she always keeps her crushes secret from the objects of her affection. When her twin sister/best friend, Cassie, enters into her first serious relationship, Molly feels her sister start to grow distant. Our heroine realizes that she'll be left in the dust if she doesn't finally grow a pair of ovaries and ask out her latest love interest.

As you can guess from the synopsis, this novel isn't action-packed, but oh, how I loved Molly Peskin-Suso. What a wonderful voice for a teenage narrator. I think many readers will relate to some (or many) of Molly's experiences in this book: feeling left behind by friends who are starting to date; insecurity about being sexually inexperienced; having low self-esteem because your body doesn't look the way society wants it to; the list goes on and on. And let's talk about that diversity! This novel is jam-packed with people of all colours and sexual identities, and not a single character feels shoe-horned in. If you're looking for a quick, easy, highly relatable read, The Upside of Unrequited is an absolute no-brainer

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MyrtleLouise
Oct 24, 2017

No story here. Just a lot of talking about getting "Molly Golly" a boyfriend. Checks all the diversity blocks, making it feel formulaic. A bucket-load of F-bombs.

PinesandPrejudice Oct 05, 2017

I want it noted, I only finished this book so quickly because I had a long plane ride and it was the only book I brought. It is not a consequence of how much I liked this book because honestly, it was only average for me.

I was expecting a lot from Albertalli, especially after SVHA. But this book wasn't up to par. My main issue with them was the characters. I didn't like them. I thought Cassie was selfish the whole time, she didn't feel realistic to me. Molly's only concern with life was boys and I can't handle that level of boy crazy in books. Where are her aspirations? What is she thinking about college? I did like Molly's stance on girls who don't fit the societal definition of beautiful. I also liked that Molly's anxiety was a large part of her voice. It was annoying at parts (but my own anxiety is annoying too) but it was well-executed. The other characters were flat. unlike in SVHA, they were stereotypical and 2D. Both of the friends, the boys and even the moms fell flat. I wanted more substance from them and while yes, the story wasn't about them, they just floated around Molly's world and that wasn't enough for me. Also I felt Molly took them all for granted and I didn't like that either.

What I did enjoy was the candid conversations about sex, sexual identity, beauty and change. It was ironic, actually, that the characters could have such poignant, important conversations about difficult topics but they couldn't talk to each other about who they liked. That part was petty. But I appreciated the outright conversations of important stances and issues that should be talked about in YA.

Overall, the book was fine. But really nothing more than that. I will probably keep it on my shelf because of the important representation it has, not just in diverse characters but also in the conversations that I think more YA books should have.

MsCourtney Jul 07, 2017

A contemporary romance featuring a diverse cast of characters with believable dialogue. Uses text messages effectively to boost the story.

KCLSRacheal Jun 22, 2017

Molly's always been different from her thin, confident twin sister, but up until now they've always been thick as thieves. As her sister's love life ramps up Molly's feeling the pressure to turn her 27th crush into a real relationship and start feeling like less of a third wheel. Full of humor and heart, this story does a great job of building endearing characters and relationships, and it somehow always manages to be upbeat without ever verging on too sweet.

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lostintheshelves
Jun 07, 2017

This pleasant and occasionally funny YA novel lives up to its name; it's a very upbeat book in which the happy ending is never in doubt despite the heroine's anxiety. The cast of characters is racially and sexually diverse, but you can really tell that the author is a white straight woman who has done some research rather than someone from a queer or multiracial family.

Becky Albertalli presents an extremely relatable main character, who is struggling with changes in her life as well as between herself and her sister. Fans of Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and other cute love stories should definitely take a look at this book. After Molly’s twin sister, Cassie, gets a girlfriend, Molly feels pressured to find someone as well. However this is not easy at the age of 17, she has had twenty-six crushes and no boyfriends. Her sister introduces Molly to her girlfriend’s best friend, meanwhile Molly has her eyes set on her co-worker. I really liked this book as I could fully relate to the main character and her inner turmoils over herself and the societal pressure to be in a relationship. I also appreciated how diverse the characters were, many of them being POC or queer, due to my own belief that YA fiction should include a larger diversity of characters. The plot was well-paced, neither too fast nor too slow. The character development was absolutely amazing. I would recommend this to anyone who needs a feel-good book.
- Anonymous

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goddessbeth
May 09, 2017

This book was exactly the mindless fluff I needed when I picked it up. Sixteen year old Molly reminded me of my teen self in many humbling ways (and also, not at all in some aspects). Innumerable crushes on unlikely boys? That was my life. Concern about growing apart from your best friend, and being powerless to stop it? Also me. So reading this felt comfortable.

I was glad it never tried to be multi-layered, though, because Molly's perspective, attitude, and language is very young. I mean, authentically teenager, which gets pretty annoying after awhile. Albertalli does a good job balancing Molly's self-centered mopiness with Reid's puppy-dog enthusiasm and earnestness, and Will's good-natured maturity, so that the story doesn't get bogged down. There are also some stunningly fun moments (Molly at the party when the random skeezer "compliments" her by telling her she's hot for a big girl? PRICELESS)

I appreciate that Molly's defining turning point in the narrative is when she decides to be less careful, and take risks. I firmly believe that overcoming our tendency toward fear (where bruising the ego is concerned) makes magic happen. So her embracing that, albeit in realistically tentative ways, and it leading to good things made me happy. But probably the biggest strength of this story is way the author captured the emotional highs and lows and exhilaration of having a crush. That, more than anything else, had me tearing through the book and finishing it in two days.

Overall, I'd recommend it for fans of contemporary YA, YA romance, and fluffy feel-good stories. Oh, and diversity- this book has it in spades.

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morganameridius
May 08, 2017

A worthy follow up to Simon with a relatable MC, a wonderful look at the complexities of family and friendship, and a super cute nerdy ship! It was a delight that I read in one sitting.

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shayshortt
May 02, 2017

Becky Albertalli’s sophomore novel has a loose connection to her first book, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Protagonist Molly’s cousin Abby recently moved to Georgia, where she met a new guy named Nick, and became friends with Simon. Although there are a couple fannish nods to Simon, and some interactions with Abby, The Upside of Unrequited really stands on its own. It is a sweet story of love and family, featuring a diverse cast of characters all with their own unique charms and struggles. Relationships of all kinds are the driving force of this coming-of-age story.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2017/05/02/the-upside-of-unrequited/

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shayshortt
May 02, 2017

Molly Peskin-Suso is the queen of unrequited love. At seventeen, she has had twenty-six crushes, but zero boyfriends. She hasn’t even been kissed. By contrast, Molly’s twin sister Cassie has an easy confidence when it comes to hooking up with girls, and she always tells Molly everything. But then Mina arrives on the scene, and for the first time ever, Cassie is totally crushed out, and a little bit secretive, leaving Molly out in the cold. But Mina has a cute best friend named Will, and Molly might not feel so left out if he was her boyfriend. So why can’t Molly stop thinking about her nerdy co-worker, Reid?

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shayshortt
May 02, 2017

There’s this feeling I get when I watch other people kiss. I become a different form of matter. Like they’re water, and I’m an ice cube. Like I’m the most alone person in the entire world.

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