Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Upside of Unrequited - Becky Albertalli




Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Format: Hardcover   

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. 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. 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 a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?


Molly, a 17 year old who has had 26 crushes, wonders if she will ever actually have a boyfriend.  Then her sister Cassie gets a girlfriend, AND Molly meets Reid of the Wertheims, and Will who is best friends with Mina (Cassie's GF.)  When Molly starts her summer job, she meets Reid because his parents own the store Bissel where Molly works. So, to give the reader's digest version here: Molly likes Reid, Reid likes Molly, Molly and Will have NO ROMANTIC FEELINGS for each other which is obvious to everyone even though her sister still tries to get her to hookup with Will, and Molly spends a lot of time denying and hiding her feelings for Reid because if she admits to her feelings something good might actually happen!  (Did you make it through that run on sentence okay?!  I promise that was the only crazy sentence you'll get out of me.... in this post.)  

There were points in this novel when I found myself going "wait stop what?"  Like the fact that it was so plainly clear as glass that Molly and Reid were into each other.  The author could not have made it any clearer that they liked each other.  And despite that fact, Molly kept telling herself that she was supposed to like Will.  And she never really did, she just faked it (believe me, it's obvious that she was never attracted to Will.)  I think she just wanted to like Will because everyone else thought she should. Also, there was the fact that Will and Mina are best friends, and Molly felt like she would be able to be around Cassie more if Molly and Will dated.  

Anyway, I am about to start rambling.  So, I will try to be succinct and get to what I liked and didn't like.  

WHAT I LIKED:

*Molly gains more confidence in herself and starts to accept the fact that she does deserve to have a boyfriend even though she's not as skinny as her sister.  (And let's face it - we're all different looking, but we're all beautiful.  Accept yourself.)
*Molly and Cassie's moms are great, and totally accepting of their kids no matter what.  (Except for the time the girls had a sleepover and Will snuck in booze.)
*Mina was kind of weird and hilarious.
*This novel has a lot of diversity in it, which shouldn't seem like a big deal, but there are so many books that are NOT diverse at all. Authors really need to work on that.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:

*Cassie got a girlfriend and started treating Molly like crap. Like, she would talk to Molly, but she was just mean.
*While I was happy that Molly did gain some more confidence in herself towards the end, for so long in the book, she was just really whiny about how she had so many crushes and nobody liked her back - and a big part of that was the fact that she also never told anyone that she liked them.  How is anyone supposed to be given the chance to reciprocate if they don't know how someone feels about them?! 
*It was a little weird how comfortable these teens were talking about vagina's and labias and stuff.  Don't get me wrong - I think it' important for teens to learn about their bodies, but most teenagers are not at a point in their lives when they are really comfortable talking about those things. 
*It was frustrating that Molly kept talking about how much she liked Will, but she never saw him or talked to him.  She texted him once or twice, but that was about it.  (And I think hung out with him twice as well.  Over the course of a few months.  That's not much to build a relationship on.  Or even a crush.)

Anyway, overall, there were more things that were cool about the book.  But I'd still rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.  It was good, but not earth shattering or great.
 

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