REVIEW: The Upside of Unrequited

Having heard great things on Twitter about Becky Albertalli’s new YA, I downloaded it onto my e-reader for some light holiday reading and was pleasantly surprised at just how different to my expectations it turned out to be!


[Photo from Goodreads]

Molly is a serial-crusher: she likes lots of boys but she never pursues anything. She is the opposite of her beautiful twin, Cassie, who always get the girl and always looks good doing it. But this summer, Molly is determined to find love and it comes from the most unexpected of places.

What I really enjoyed about this book was that it captures and focuses on love in so many different forms. It’s not just about romantic love, but familial love – between parents and children, and siblings – and love between friends. It’s a really universal read in this way because it has something for everyone. That’s forgetting to even mention the diverse representations of the types of romantic love: Molly is the child of two mums, who used a donor, which I found a really important addition to the story. Indeed, the wedding of her mums is one of the most heartfelt scenes in the whole book! But of course, Molly’s own true love plays a huge part.

Molly meets Reid at work and we can immediately see they’re better suited than Molly and hipster-boy Will, who her friends and Cassie have been trying to set her up with, would ever be! Their relationship feels like a healthy representation of teen relationships and it’s light and fluffy and that’s just a plain nice thing to read in the summer, even if it isn’t particularly deep!

This isn’t a perfect book by far: Molly’s lack of confidence and her initial opinions of herself as the lesser, fatter sister to Cassie, are old-school and outdated YA, especially when the only time she sees herself as beautiful is on the day Reid calls her it, and the revolution of the young female characters’ lives around love interests, whilst semi-truthful, is reductive to the myriad other things they have going on during these years. But it’s a great summer read and best of all, it’ll have you smiling away throughout!


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