The Upside of Unrequited
by Becky Albertalli
Source: Came in the April "Head Over Heels" OwlCrate box
Genre: Young adult, Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQ+
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?
I was on the fence about reading this book. But, I am a sucker for anything to do with twins - I've always had a real fascination for multiples and especially identicals - so it didn't take much convincing. The fact that others said it was a really fast read made it more interesting too, and I did end up reading it in one day, which is quite rare for me.
As you can see from the synopsis, the story is about Molly and her twin Cassie. Cassie suddenly falls head-over-heels for her new girlfriend, and Molly feels totally left behind because she's never had a boyfriend and she feels like her twin isn't hers anymore, and the only way to fix it will be for her to find herself a boyfriend. But how can she find a boyfriend when she's so insecure, feeling fat and ugly and like nobody could ever love her more than as a friend...?!
It was super cute, as most YA romances tend to be. I loved the twin element, of course, and I just really felt like I could relate to Molly, so much. From her self-image to her feelings about Cassie's new relationship, I often feel the same way, even now (maybe even more now) about my friends and peers: that they are succeeding and achieving and drifting away, but I'm still here, not moving... not achieving or changing or succeeding... I can only imagine what it must be like with a twin. Especially when they went from being best friends who told each other everything, to keeping secrets and developing new interests.
The writing style wasn't necessarily something I enjoyed in this book. It is definitely written for its audience (teens and young adults), and so I can see how the witty banter and blatant sex talk would appeal to rebellious teenagers, but I just didn't enjoy that aspect so much. I was raised very conservatively, so I would even venture to say that I found it a bit scandalous for a YA book. I understand how it can be perceived as "realistic" to have teenagers and their parents talking about these topics so openly, I'm just saying that I myself would probably not have enjoyed this book as a teenager. I don't know. But as an adult, it was an ok read. It entertained, it was cute, and it was fast, so it's a 3.5 stars for me.
My Goodreads rating: