Review | The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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?

“There’s an upside here. Because when you spend so much time just intensely wanting something, and then you actually get the thing? It’s magic.”

Five Reasons I Loved The Upside of Unrequited:

🍪 The Writing
From the first few paragraphs, I knew that I was going to love The Upside of Unrequited. The writing was captivating, containing enough banter to make me smile while still feeling completely realistic.

🍪 The Diversity
The Upside of Unrequited is wonderfully diverse: the majority of the cast is queer and POC, including a pansexual Asian-American side character. There’s also an honest conversation about body image and self-esteem and accurate portrayal of anxiety.

🍪 It’s Relatable
Molly reminded me a lot of myself when I was in high school: I was shy, self-conscious, and unable to muster up the courage to even speak to the (many) boys that I was crushing on. There’s such an importance placed on high school relationships and navigating the dating world that rejection can seem like the end of the world and that feeling is something that The Upside of Unrequited perfectly captured.

🍪 The Family Focus
Molly and Cassie aren’t just sisters, they’re also best friends. Although their dynamic changes slightly as they grow apart and come into their own, they’re still each other’s person. Molly and Cassie also have a great relationship with their moms who are actively involved in their daughters’ lives – as someone who considers her mother to be her best friend, this really warmed my heart.

🍪 The Crafting
I love Pinterest, although I can never make my creations look quite as good as the original source material, so Molly’s love of DIY crafting quickly won me over. I also may or may not have had to pause a few times to make my own cookie dough bites – they just sounded so good!

Overall, The Upside of Unrequited was everything I have come to expect from a Becky Albertalli book: fun, relatable, and filled with loveable, snarky characters.

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