The Upside Of Unrequited, the sophomore novel by author Becky Albertalli, introduces us to Molly, a twin and chubby girl who has never had a boyfriend before. But things change when her twin sister Cassie meets Mina, a Korean-American girl.
Because Mina? She introduces Will into Molly’s world. Will isn’t the only boy who enters Molly’s world, though. There’s also Reid, whose parents own the shop were Molly is working for the summer.
As the summer progresses, feelings start developing and things get complicated on more than one front.
I thought The Upside Of Unrequited was a nice story about how falling in love and starting a new relationship can change your existing relationships with the people closest to you. And while I did enjoy reading this book (I actually finished it in one sitting one night), I don’t feel like there was a lot happening throughout.
We join our cast of characters at various parties throughout the story, we join Molly at her summer job where she spends time with Reid and then finally we have the wedding. And that’s really all that happens plot-wise and that’s not enough for me, to be honest.
Becky Albertalli has a writing style that makes it easy to follow along with her story and definitely factors into how much you end up enjoying this novel. And while I did like the first person point of view that the author chose for this book it also made it difficult to get to know the other characters more – they felt really flat to me.
One thing I really enjoyed about the way this particular book was written is the fact that at times it felt like Molly was speaking directly to me as a reader which isn’t something I have come across often in the books I’ve read up until now.
As I just mentioned, I don’t think we got a chance to really get to know most of the characters apart from what Molly was telling us which was obviously tainted by Molly’s feelings about them and wasn’t from a neutral point of view – I would’ve preferred that at times. Cassie was usually busy being Mina’s girlfriend and neither Will nor Reid got developed much as characters which ultimately lead to me not caring about who Molly would ultimately end up with.
The one character I did feel we got to know well enough was Molly, which is a given since she was the narrator of this story and we were inside her head. And I have to say I often found myself nodding along to a lot of the things Molly was thinking about herself, her body and what it would be like to be with someone. My teenage self was full of all of those thoughts too.
In a way, it was really interesting to be reintroduced to all of those thoughts and compare that to how I am feeling about those things nowadays.
Something else I want to mention in relation to the characters in this story is the diversity that is a natural part of the story. We see characters of different sexualities, races, religious beliefs and a character with mental health issues and as far as I can tell, Becky Albertalli dealt with them appropriately.
I did really enjoy reading The Upside Of Unrequited! It was a light-hearted and sweet story that at times actually had me laughing out loud and definitely kept me entertained the whole way through!
As I was reading this book I did realize that I may not be the right audience for this book, considering I’m in my late 20s already. But while my age might be off, I could still see myself in the character as we share other aspects.
Had I read this book in my late teens, I would have definitely enjoyed this a lot more. But I am glad that I read it now. I have experiences now that I didn’t have then and my mindset about my body and the way I view it has changed and I am very grateful for that.
Taking everything into consideration, I ended up giving this book a 3-star rating!
The Upside Of Unrequited releases on April 11th!
I received an e-ARC from Penguin Random House UK Children’s through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!