jadewritesbooks · NetGalley · Reviews

THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED by Becky Albertalli – REVIEW

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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.

Right?

4* –

I was graciously given this as a e-ARC via Netgalley by Penguin Random House UK

Diversity! This book has a lot of it. I loved the fact there were lots of women, lots of religions, LGBTQA+ falling out of the pages, so cool. It’s only the second book I’ve ever read with a tubby protag, too.

So much about Molly resonated with me, it was as though the book reached down into my body, dragged back up the 17-year-old Jade, and made her read it with me. Being an overweight, inexperienced teen is absolutely terrifying and isolating because so much emphasis is placed on hormonal surges and sex it’s overwhelming. If you don’t fit the mould, you feel you’re a failure, and everything Molly believed in this book and worried about, I felt wholeheartedly.

It was like Becky Albertalli had taken a trip back in time to see what I was like as a teenager. And – admittedly – into my early 20’s too. She must have had a checklist.

Serial crusher – check.
Wants a relationship – check
Self-conscious about her weight  – check
Has awesome mom – check
Doubting every boy’s motives – check

Also Middle Earth Reid – hello, tall, curly haired, bespectacled dude with a Middle Earth t-shirt. Molly might not have appreciated it at first but 17 year old me CERTAINLY would have. (I still would, actually.)

I was transported back in time SO MUCH that I had a little cry half way through. The little fat girl inside never really leaves you, but she can heal. This book proved that she still effects me, even to this day, no matter how much I’ve grown. And I felt it absolutely wonderful that Molly wasn’t trying to change the fact she was fat – that wasn’t it – it was just trying to understand why the world around her seemed to ignore tubbier people weren’t as valued.

The main difference was Molly had people to talk to about her fears and I never did (get out those tiny violins!), so it was nice to see that she was able to share in her worries with her sisters and friends. Even though Cassie, at many stages, was a prat. She lost favour with me, and never got it back, really. I liked and understood Will more than I understood Cassie.

I loved some of the one liners and Molly’s internal monologues were laugh out loud funny, but sometimes the writing skipped things I thought might have been better to dig deeper into. My connection to this book probably relied more upon the fact I had lived Molly’s existence – minus the hot and actually interested love interest – so it engrossed me more than perhaps it may have done without that connection.

It’s a good and important book, though, once again, and I thoroughly enjoyed the foray into Molly’s world.

4*!

 

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