Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Penguin (April 2017)
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 Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?Yet another book that has been so hyped, that I kinda question why I even bother watching BookTube sometimes. I thought I would give this one a shot because it and its predecessor, Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda, have gotten such great reviews and I realize now that perhaps basing my reading choices on the opinions of people who get PAID to talk about books from publishers is probably a recipe for disaster.
Kinda ironic, right? As I basically get review copies myself and talk about those books. But, I assure you, no money has ever exchanged hands and all my reviews are honest. Including this one.
This one totally missed the mark for me. I get it that the trend du jour is to be inclusive and have diversity of characters, but seriously? This book pushed it a little for me. It felt like this took precedence over plot and was used as a tool for getting reader kudos.
And Molly is super insecure and has serious body issues, but suddenly the love of a boy makes her love herself. It this the kind of message you want to portray? That having the attention of a boy means you really are beautiful after all? And all she does the entire book is whine about how no boys like her but she makes zero effort.
The writing... well. It tried too hard to be cute and quirky while actually falling really flat. But if you like John Green, then you will like this.
The moral of this story? Don't believe the hype, kids! And go read Alex, Approximately instead if you want a cute YA contemp. Or maybe Eliza and Her Monsters.