the upside of unrequited
by: Becky Albertalli
I really enjoyed the author’s first book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda so I was excited to pick this one up. Molly Peskin-Suso has had twenty-six crushes but never had a boyfriend. When her twin sister meets a new girl she tries to set her up with her best friend. But Molly’s also forming a friendship with her new co-worker that might finally be the real thing.
I liked this book a lot it’s a quick (two days) fun read. I get Molly. I am the Queen of Unrequited Crushes in my group. Granted most of them revolve around movie stars. There’s a lot of references to shows and music and for the most part I think they were pretty connectable teenagers. FYI: There’s also teenage drinking and some hooking up and the story of a break-up so horribly bad that I wanted to hurt the guy and we don’t even meet him on the page! Also you know, mixed messages and crossed signals and people communicating (or not).
This book has representation at pretty much every angle. Molly and Cassie’s mom’s are about to get married. There’s different races, sexualities, Molly’s on anti-anxiety meds… So on and so forth. Molly’s also overweight. I’m always annoyed when writer’s have overweight characters and they never let you forget about it. Albertalli does a better job of it. Molly’s weight does play a part in her self-confidence and there’s an absolutely cringeworthy dinner with a kind-hearted grandmother that well, I’ve seen that kind of helpfulness before, let’s just say.
It also managed not to veer into my “sickeningly sweet” territory until the very end. Besides that Molly’s sister started getting on my nerves. It just seemed like she was pushing Molly to do certain things one minute and then avoiding her the next. Like she was not telling her things and then getting mad at Molly for getting mad. I mean maybe Cassie’s a fantastic representation of a teenager whose point-of-view we aren’t getting. But I just found her annoying.
This is a good Spring read but if I’m being honest I enjoyed Simon a smidgeon more.