The Upside Is That This Book Is Amazing

Title: The Upside Of Unrequited
Author : Becky Albertalli
Rating : 6/5

The Upside Of Unrequited is such an amazing book with such simple but complex characters. It is a story about a girl named Molly who has had twenty-six crushes but not one boyfriend. When Molly’s twin sister, Cassie gets a girlfriend who has a very cute, hipster best friend, everyone is expecting crush number twenty-seven to be different. The problem is, theres also her coworker, Reid, who is unbelievably nerdy but adorable. Throughout the novel, Molly has to face her feelings, rejection and the change in her relationship with her Cassie.
This book is great for many different reasons, the first being the amount of representation it has. In most stories, there are very little characters of colour as well as LGBTQ+ characters. This is not the case with this book. The protagonist, Molly, as well as Reid are Jewish. Mina, Cassie’s girlfriend , is Korean and pansexual. Molly and Cassie also have two moms and literally around half the characters fit in the LGBTQ+ community. I like how sexuality was never a big deal in this book. For example, Molly would find out someone was gay and just be like “okay” hows the relationship going with him. I also really enjoy the fact that Molly was fat. I think it accurately shows how it feels to be around people that are smaller than you, but honestly no one really made a big deal about it besides her. Everyone else was more focused on how shy and careful she is.

*SPOILERS BELOW*

I really enjoyed Molly’s character. I found her crushing problems really relatable. At the beginning of the novel, she has never actually been rejected but still has never had a boyfriend. This is because she is too scared to put herself out there, which I completely relate to. She also compares her love life to her friend and sisters which again I can relate to. She constantly feels like she is the only virgin standing. I also loved her character development. She went from this super careful, shy person, to going out with Will and kissing Reid. She had such a real vibe to her, which I absolutely loved.
The problem is, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Cassie. She was a great character, I just personally didn’t like how she was always keeping so much secrets and distancing herself from Molly. She then made Molly feel bad for noticing it. I found her to be very manipulative and selfish. What annoyed me most was how Molly had to figure out that Cassie was dating Mina via Facebook but Cassie got mad that Molly didn’t tell her about Reid. She had such a double standard when it came to Molly about nearly everything.
The other characters were all really loveable though. I loved how open Molly and her parents relationship was. The story had a very strong, supportive family, which isn’t commonly found in contemporaries.¬†Another thing that I loved, was how Will didn’t actually like Molly. I know that may seem brutal, but I feel like Molly needed to be rejected and that maybe if Will actually did like her, she wouldn’t have ended up with Reid. It made me so happy to hear him reject her because I know she didn’t actually like him. She just didn’t want to focus on Reid. What surprised me though, was the fact that he liked Mina. I mean, maybe it was obvious but I was too busy focusing on Cassie and Mina. I thought maybe he just got out of a relationship, or actually did like Molly, I don’t know, I just wasn’t expecting him to like Mina, maybe Cassie.
I also liked the text message threads between Molly and Reid. Reid is such a dork and theres just something so great about him, it was kind of hard not to want her to end up with him. It was like they were made for each other. This is why the little love problem between Reid and Olivia stressed me out so much. Don’t get me wrong, Olivia is a great character but she just didn’t fit with Reid like Molly did. Whenever they were together, Molly was so careless instead of guarded.

To sum it up, this book was amazing, It was funny, honest and cute all in one. It definitely isn’t your typical love story but it also isn’t completely original. All in all, it’s a great book and I think that everyone should at least try to read it, especially if you like romance.

By Your Side


Author : Kasie West
Rating : 4.5/5

By Your Side was novel that I was actually scared to buy for fear of not liking it. Turns out, the book was actually really good. I read it all in one sitting because I could not put it down.
The book is about a girl named Autumn who is planning to stay at her friend’s cabin for the weekend but needs to make an emergency trip to the washroom before they leave. Her friends end up leaving while Autumn ends up getting locked in the schools library without her bag. While being trapped, she has this idea that it wont be long, that her friends or Jeff (her crush) will come save her. When it is clear they probably won’t be coming back, Autumn is forced to try and survive the weekend with only the supplies in the library. That is, until she realizes she is not alone, Dax Miller, the schools delinquent is also there.
Personally I thought the whole book was going to be about them stuck being stuck but it wasn’t. Around the middle of the novel, the actually get out, which confused me. However, it turns out that the nights they were stuck had much larger impacts than I thought. The book was cute and the characters were loveable. It had the perfect mix of cliche and creativity that it worked.
Autumn is a refreshing character. At first I thought she was annoying and wanted to stop reading but I soon grew to like her, which is strange because i usually don’t like the main characters in contemporaries. When she was with Dax, her best traits were brought out and therefore made their relationship work better than her and Jeff’s. She was always really anxious around Jeff because he was so spontaneous and that wasn’t good for her mental health (she has anxiety). Her character development was also great and I think the things she struggled with like pleasing everyone, was relatable.
Dax was also such a great character. He was so standoffish. He wasn’t big on talking but when he did, it was usually sarcastic. Despite his stoic attitude, he was nice and continuously put Autumn first. He would eat less so she could eat more and freeze in the night so she could use the sleeping bag. Even though he grew up in harsh conditions he was pretty soft hearted.
The largest surprise to me though, was the fact that I actually liked Jeff’s character. He was the jock of the story, which would usually indicate he was a jackass but in fact he was the complete opposite. He was nice and funny, and didn’t make fun of people they way jocks always do in stories.
The story was so much more than a couple a teenagers being stuck, it touched upon family, friends and mental health issues.
*SPOILERS BELOW*

Without a doubt, one of my favourite moments between Autumn and Dax was when they were in the greenhouse before school. Autumn is the type who didn’t break rules and wasn’t up for being late to class, despite knowing that, Dax held onto her for so long, she had to run to not be late. It was playful moments like this that made my heart swell.
However the ending of the story was a bit rushed. Dax and Autumn resolved things so quick and there was no indication of what his mother actually told Dax and if they are still talking. Dax’s story played a large role but towards the end it was kind of just brushed off. They also didn’t focus on the conflict between Dallin and Autumn. It was all just wrapped up really quickly with no actual information given. Although that annoyed me a little, mainly  because I didn’t want the book to end, it was still a very great book and would recommend that anyone who loves love stories, read it.