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The Upside of Unrequited | Becky Albertalli | Review

"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?"

After reading (and loving) Simon vs the Homo-sapiens Agenda last year, Leah on the Offbeat this year, and also What if It's Us (co-written with Adam Silvera), Becky Albertalli's The Upside of Unrequited had been on my list of books to check out. I managed to score the audio-book from the library and listened to it on a solo road trip I did recently.

I didn't love this book as much as any of the others she's written, but it was still an enjoyable story. Molly was a fun character but she was a little bit too obsessed with boys and crushes and falling in love and girl! Just cool it a little! There's a lot of that throughout the book, and at times it did get very old very quickly (one of the reasons I didn't give this a higher star rating).

But there are wonderful things about this book too. Molly and Cassie are twins to mothers, who have a baby brother too, and a somewhat complicated family (though aren't everyone's?). Their friends are wonderful in their own ways, and the love interests are sweet and quirky, too. As Molly tries to figure out if Will is actually flirting with her (and tries hard to ignore Cassie pushing her towards him in a 'you guys need to go out!' sort of way), and how she feels about her co-worker Reid, the story follows her over the course of a summer as she celebrates milestones with her family, watches her sister fall in love, and wrestles with all the weird and wonderful aspects of being 17.

It's a fun book, but like I said, definitely not a favourite from Albertalli. There is, however, a Simon cameo in this book (which I didn't realise until after I read it - like, duh, Anjali, come on), and it's kiiiiiinda a spoiler, so if you haven't read Simon vs the Homo-sapiens Agenda, I would suggest you play it safe and read that first.

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