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.
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.