Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Format: Audiobook Borrowed from Library
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?
This book was an absolute delight to read – so much so that I blew through it in a day!
Honestly, I don’t know how I managed to read this in a day considering this was an audio I borrowed from my library using Overdrive.
When I started listening, I anticipated listening for a half hour or so, but I go so deeply sucked in to this story, I just kept my earbuds in all day and into the evening as I went about my business.
This book was perfect for that.
It was such a nice companion to my household tasks. I loved the beautiful diversity in this novel: our main character, Molly, is the plus-sized daughter of two moms, her twin sister is a lesbian who is dating a pansexual Asian character… the list goes on and it was absolutely beautiful to read.
Along with the diverse cast, I particularly loved the representation of Attachment Parenting. This is something I do not see very often in novels and tend to cling to excitedly when I do, especially when it is so easily (and correctly) represented.
Molly has a 1 year old little brother whom her mother still breastfeeds. Extended breastfeeding is rarely represented in novels and the fact that it was in a YA made me so happy. Normalizing breastfeeding in any way is such a huge undertaking and I love the fact that Becky Abertalli included it this story, even if it was just in the background.
The mention of parents carrying their babies in ring slings made my heart happy, too. I don’t know how I would have survived parenting if it wasn’t for babywearing and the Ring Sling was my best friend from the time my girls were newborns up until they were toddlers. Particularly when they were sick and needed cuddles, but I still had to get things done around the house.
All that aside, the relationships in this book were so heartwarming and real, I felt like I was part of Molly’s family. Her relationship with her sister and the struggles of growing and changing and accepting that the growth and change can also bring distance between siblings is something that hit me hard. My relationship with my siblings has morphed as we’ve grown and sometimes those growing pains were hard – especially as the youngest of four, I remember how hard it was as my siblings matured and eventually moved out of the house… seemingly leaving me behind.
Molly’s relationship with her grandmother was deeply relatable, too.
Of course, Molly’s romantic relationship definitely brought a bundle of butterflies with it. I loved how imperfect Reid was. He’s a big, soft, sweet nerd and I was totally here for it. While I love the male model characters in most of the romance novels I read, it’s nice to have a character that is a bit more realistic.
Audiobook Performance: 5 stars
Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars
Re-read Worthiness: Probably!
Bookshelf Placement: YES!
I need all of Becky’s books on my shelf!
Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars