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.
My face hurts from smiling so much. The Upside of Unrequited is the cutest book to ever cute.
It was a fantastic coming of age story about learning to accept yourself. Filled with diverse characters, sisterhood, and concerns people go through every day, it was a terrific portrayal of real life.
Upside is Becky’s second book, her first being Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, one of my favourites and also so ridiculously adorable. It’s hard to not compare Upside with Simon since they technically are related books. Not a sequel or prequel, but more of a side-quel. Plot-wise, I felt Simon definitely has the edge. I felt more happened overall in Simon, but that’s not to say Upside wasn’t good. It was still an adorable rollercoaster of fun.
And for the Simon fans: Simon, Abby, and Nick make perfect cameos.
I’m trying to think of the last book I read that featured a Jewish main character that wasn’t in relation to the Second World War. I can’t. And I’m also trying to think of the last time I heard the word ‘mamaleh’ used and wasn’t from someone in my family and I most definitely can’t. It was so surprising to see a Jewish person who wasn’t really religious — more culturally Jewish than anything — because that is 100% me. I never thought I’d see that part of me represented in a book (even casually like in Upside)!
With two fantastic books written, Becky Albertalli is on her way to becoming one of the defining young adult authors of this decade. I cannot wait to see what her next book brings!
And I leave you with the truest of Jewish truths:
“I don’t think of myself as super Jewish or anything, and I basically never
go to synagogue. But there’s this thing I feel when I meet another
Jewish person in the wild. It’s like a secret invisible high five.”
Thanks so much to Penguin Random House UK Children’s for an advance copy!