Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 4/11/2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: “Head Over Heels” OwlCrate Box – April 2017
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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?
I loved this book. It was the cute contemporary I was hoping for and I flew right through it. This is a nice fluffy book full of Becky has a gift writing relatable teenage characters going through authentic problems. One issue I have when rereading other contemporary books is that I have trouble relating to the characters. Their situations were never ones that I faced and it made understanding their motives difficult at times. Becky overcomes that with the teenagers in her novels. I was able to relate to the characters and understand their struggles. Hell, I’ve even faced some of these struggles before. I won’t go as far as to say that these characters are timeless, but they are certainly representative of today’s youth.
I also want to applaud Becky on her use of diversity through this book. She did a great job including a wide array of characters but never making their diversity the only defining part of the character.
Here’s a sample of the diversity that is included in this book:
- “Fat” MC and (potential) love interest
- LGBTQIA+ Prominent side characters
- MC’s sister is openly gay
- MC has two moms, one is gay and the other is bi
- MC’s sister’s new girl friend is pan sexual and half Korean
- One of MC’s moms is African-American
- MC’s brother is also African-American
Honestly, there’s not much to say about this book when it comes to plot. Like many contemporary books, the main plot is just watching the MC learn about themselves and grow as a character. For the most part, I did like the journey Molly’s character goes on.
One this that I didn’t like about this book was towards the ending, Molly and Reid has to go through that annoying trope where Molly likes Reid but turns him down so Reid starts talking to another girl (who is newly single) and Molly gets mad at Reid and stops talking to him for a while thinking that he is no longer interested in her.
Personally, I hate this trope. I see a version of it in several romantic comedies and contemporary stories. This is a situation that could have been prevented by a text message or two.
That being said, I was thrilled NOT to see a love triangle in this book. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a love triangle, but this was a story that didn’t need one and it was refreshing not to see Becky take that route.
Despite the one gripe I had towards the end of the book, I did still enjoy this book. It was the first contemporary I’ve read in a while and I had such a blast with it. As mentioned above, I love the way Becky writes teenagers. She makes them authentic and relatable and like you could be reading about anyone. Becky also ditched the “quirky miss understood” protagonists stereotype, favoring a more authentic MC who usually doesn’t take the spotlight.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5 out of 5 Stars