Becky Albertalli is a genius
Book: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release date: 11th April 2017
Love, Simon hits cinemas next week and what better way to celebrate than by posting a review of Becky Albertalli’s latest book, The Upside of Unrequited. For those that don’t know, TUOU is a brilliant contemporary YA novel that’s packed full of humour, pop culture references and some seriously relatable characters that you’ll wanna be BFFs with.
Sure, I say that about a lot of YA books. In fact, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘How many fictional BFFs do you want, Emma?’ The answer is simple: I want a squad that rivals Taylor’s and Molly and Cassie are totally welcome to join.
Now, without further ado, let’s get this review started.
So what’s the book about?
I like to think of The Upside of Unrequited as the contemporary of all contemporaries. The story follows Molly Peskin-Suso’s love life or lack of it.
When Molly falls for someone she falls for them hard, but despite having 26 crushes (Molly’s twin sister Cassie is counting) she has yet to have her first kiss. Cassie wants Molly to grow some lady balls but Molly’s can’t quite stomach the idea of rejection.
Things get even more complicated when Cassie finds herself a new girlfriend and attempts to set Molly up with a hipster, Brooklyn-type called Will. The twins’ relationship becomes strained and Molly thinks that if she falls for Will she’ll get her first kiss and win her sister back.
Throw another spanner in the works with Molly’s coworker Reid, a geeky, Lord of The Rings super-fan, and it’s a coming-of-age story that won’t be able to put down.
What did I think of it?
The Upside of Unrequited is the first Becky Albertilli book I’ve read and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, I’m resisting the urge to fangirl the ‘eff out, right now. TUOU is a new favourite of mine and I’m totally going to end up reading it over and over again.
So why do I love it so much? Part of it has to do with Molly. She’s quirky (without the manic pixie dream girl facade) and I can 100% relate to her Pinterest addiction. I adore her and was amazed at how well Becky captured the awkward teenage moments that Molly experiences. The pressure to have your first kiss? The confusion that comes with flirting? The head scramble when someone likes you? The Upside of Unrequited transported me back to my own awkward teenage years effortlessly.
On top of all of that, the book is also incredibly diverse. There are so many different characters portrayed in TUOU and none of them are shoehorned in just to tick a check box. Molly and Cassie have two moms and frequently discusses LGBTQ+ rights. A pansexual character is also present, as well as multiple POC and Korean characters. More voices like this need to be present in YA and I thought Becky did a brilliant job at capturing them.
So who should read it?
If you’re a fan of Jenn Bennett, Emery Lord or Rainbow Rowell, you’ll love TUOU. I’d also recommend it to fans of Adam Silvera as Becky and Adam are releasing a brand new book later this year. The book’s called What If It’s Us and I’m super excited about the release.
In the meantime, you can order a copy of The Upside of Unrequited from Amazon by clicking here. Let me know what you think of the novel in the comments below.