Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited

Published by: HarperTeen

Publication Date: April 11th 2017

Genre: YA Contemp/LGBTQIA/Diverse

Pages: 338 pgs

Format: eGalley

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 STARS)

*HUGE thanks to Balzer & Bray/HarperTeen, Edelweiss, and Becky Albertalli for the eGalley of The Upside of Unrequited in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.

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.


Honestly, a more Feel Good plot I have NOT come across! Molly Peskin-Suso is many things: a fraternal twin to Cassie, prone to harboring a high # of secret crushes, a DIY Queen, Pinterest aficionado, and baker who also happens to be plus size. Molly’s best friend is her twin sister Cassie, they are inseparable & with their twin bond, they hold no secrets from each other. When Molly introduces Cassie to a girl she meets in the bathroom; who she thinks would make a perfect match for Cassie…she never would’ve guessed they’d fall in love. Both Molly & Cassie see their relationship shifting and with it comes a fear of losing their bond. Cassie tries to play match maker in hopes that it will help Molly feel less lonely. The issue with this is that although Molly has had plenty of crushes, she hasn’t actually dated or kissed anyone. In fact, for Molly it’s all about that feeling that you get when you have a crush…

“And it’s a little different with every guy, so it’s kind of hard to generalize—but if I had to describe the feeling of a crush, I’d say this: you just finished running a mile, and you have to throw up, and you’re starving, but no food seems appealing, and your brain becomes fog, and you also have to pee. It’s this close to intolerable. But I like it.”
Becky Albertalli, The Upside of Unrequited

Ok so I’m just going to start off by saying I was Molly Peskin-Suso sans her craftiness lol. I too carried on way too many crushes & gave them all pseudonyms for easy recollection lol. That new crush feeling she describes? yea all too familiar smh, and I also never found the courage to say anything to said crushes *awkwardly looks away from screen* lol. Molly’s character brought back some fun memories and as a plus size gal myself, I found I could relate to her even as a grown adult. Her honesty about the feelings she has rang true to me. Molly has moments where she doesn’t feel comfortable with her weight, she doesn’t want to be just “the girl with the very pretty face”. At the same time, she has moments of empowerment & never once feels the need to be thin just to get a boyfriend. Molly has the same thoughts we’ve all had about our bodies & her inner monologues mirrored my own at that age. Needless to say, I LOVED Molly! I also really enjoyed reading her twin sister Cassie who is the complete opposite of Molly. Cassie & Molly have a great sibling relationship & because they’re twins (same age haha) they have the same circle of friends. Cassie is the extroverted twin, described by Molly as being very attractive & also happens to like girls. Seeing Cassie fall in love while still trying to be there for Molly and even play match maker was super cute. Molly and Cassie also spend time with their cousins (same age) over Skype videos & YAY for female friendships and seeing more of that in our books! *whoop whoop*  

I realize this is getting lengthy but Albertalli really knows how to make you fall head over heels with all of her characters. Last but not least are the AMAZING parentals! Molly’s moms are in tune with their kids and by no means are they your traditional types. I loved seeing their genuine interest in seeing their kids happy. They aren’t holding tight leashes on their kids but instead trust them enough to right. Some may think they were a bit too understanding but when it mattered they stepped in. Also loved seeing each mom’s personality pop on the page. They weren’t just background characters, their own experiences are woven into the story which gives you a more well rounded look at this family.

This is my 1st Albertalli book & I’m quickly making her an auto-buy author. I have Simon waiting for me on ibooks & can’t wait to see what the buzz is with that guy. Simon does do a cameo in this book & that Becky knew what she was doing! I need to know more about Simon!!! haha! this was a fun feel good contemporary. I smiled from start to finish and loved all of the diversity and plus size representation in Upside. Also in the mix, Albertalli found a way to include a quick conversation between Molly, Cassie, & friends on a comment made by another and how it is considered problematic. This then led to a healthy discussion and I found it refreshing to see how it was handled. Upside of Unrequited is now a top 2017 fave & will probably make the cut at the end of year for top 10. I can’t recommend this book enough! PLEASE BUY IT. PLEASE READ IT. PLEASE LOVE IT. 😉

Have any of you wonderful bookish peeps read The Upside of Unrequited? fave character? quote? I mean Molly did have quite a few good lines lol…

Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

25 thoughts on “Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli”

  1. I am so happy more people are reading and loving UPSIDE because this book made my day, my week, my month, my freaking year. I can’t see myself not reading this over and over. I am so excited for you to read SIMON VS because that guy? Simon? Brilliant boy. Their voices are so distinguished and right after UPSIDE I read SIMON VS and it just filled me with so much JOY. All of Molly’s lines are my favorites. I mentioned a couple in my own review because I couldn’t look at how many underlines stuff there was in my ebook without going: I’m kind of in love with Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mariam! 💕it def lifted my spirits, I didn’t want it to end 😩😂 I agree, it’s a top fave for the year and probably just an overall fave. I’m excited to read Simon and watch the movie. Becky is very close friends with Adam Silvera who is my most favorite new YA author. I kept seeing Becky in his tweets and Insta & got curious about her books. No regrets here 🙌🏼 I also highlighted in my eGalley all of my faves which ended up being almost the entire book lol! MOLLY IS AMAZING!!! 🙌🏼thank you for stopping by 😃💕


      1. I am so happy that it made you feel so good cos I feel like this book could do serious joy in many people’s hearts. I actually fell for these authors because of how cute they are on twitter. That kind of friendship is so good.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow this sounds like an incredible book Lilly. I do have The Upside of Unrequited on my to-read list, I read Simon Vs last year and loved it so this was pretty much an auto-add when I saw it was by the same author, but your review has certainly convinced me to move it up the list a little now. I love the sound of all the characters and their close relationships with one another. Girl friendships and close family relationships is something I love seeing in YA books and this one sounds like it has plenty of both.
    Great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Beth, pleasssse move it up on your TBR 😆 you won’t regret it! Haha, it really is a feel good book. All of the relationships in this book were just wonderful flaws & all. I love a book with characters that stick around long after the last page has been read & this is one of those books 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m going to try and get around to it next month. I have a feeling ACOWAR is going to put me in a fantasy slump and I’ll need some contemporary books to get me through the month! 😀
        It sounds amazing, and from what you’ve said in your review I reckon this is going to be a book I love just as much as you and for the same reasons! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You just made me want to read this even more, Lilly!! I feel like I could relate so much to Molly on the crush front. I had SO MANY crushed in middle school and high school, all of which I never spoke too because shy 😂. The quote you included with her describing that crush feeling is so accurate! And I love that it has that sibling aspect and female friendships and great parents. Also, I love that it calls out something that is problematic. I am definitely going to have to move this one up my list. Maybe even binge read it with Simon within the next few months. Great review as always!! 😊♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Melissa! This book was just the perfect gift on a rainy day, it instantly lifted my spirits. Molly is super relatable and now I’m more than anxious to get to Simon since he made a small cameo in Upside. The sibling and parent relationships were really in point. This book is filled with diversity and the rep is on point. I hope to see a lot more from Albertalli 🤞🏼hope you enjoy this one as much as I did, something tells me you will 😉💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!! 😊
        Aww that’s awesome. I love when characters from author’s previous books appear in their other ones. I’m thinking I’ll make it a point to read Simon first before reading this one because of that. Either way, I definitely plan on trying to get around to both of them soonish. I might need some uplifting contemporaries after May because of Lord of Shadows and ACOWAR. 😂
        I hope I enjoy it as much as you did too!! 😊♥


  4. I read this one and loved it, too! I got a copy from the library but I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for Albertalli’s titles at book sales … they’re so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I just got my copy in the Owlcrate box & since I had read the arc & loved it, I was pleasantly surprised ☺️💕they are really great books 🙌🏼


  5. I love that you found some of yourself inside Molly’s character. That’s always my favorite part of reading YA– finding my younger self and being validated that younger-Jackie wasn’t a crazypants. Or, well, as much of a crazy pants. 😉 Plus– I couldn’t be more excited for female friendships in YA! I don’t think these are as prominent as they should be in YA. We need to show how important these are! Teach these children to love each other, not fight each other!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jackie! I honestly wish I had books like these when I was younger, it would have probably made my teen years a bit better. I’ve been lucky lately in regards to stumbling across books with positive Female friendships which makes my heart happy, we don’t have enough of these. I think with females in particular, everyone is so used to seeing the opposite that we’ve forgotten how much we need to see that in our books and media. Very happy for authors who prioritize these relationships 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello, Lilly! I’m SO damn glad you loved this book! I guess we are all Molly. Becky just captures impeccably and renders articulately the teenage experience, doesn’t she? I mean, you’ve yet to read Simon vs, which is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE, but I have a feeling you’d agree. I have ALL THE STARS and ALL THE HEART-EYES EMOJIS and ALL THE LOVE for Becky and everything she does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Shelumiel! I do think we all have a little something of Molly in us 🙃 & yes she certainly does capture the teenage experience. I seriously felt like she got my own experience down to a tee while reading Upside. I loved all of her characters & NEED more haha! I am definitely going to read Simon Vs. this summer, I e already purchased my copy 😆😆😆 how could I not after those few glimpse Becky gave us in Upside?!?!? Here’s to hoping we won’t have to wait too long for another book by this AMAZING author 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼😃💕


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