Updated: Jan 30, 2020
TITLE: The Upside of Unrequited
AUTHOR: Becky Albertalli
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
PUBLISHED DATE: April 11, 2017
This book was kind of like...syrup. Sweet and sticky - and maybe a bit too much. Overall I did like this book - it's definitely a hard one to follow up behind Simon - even though, Simon and Abby are both in this book which was also sweet...and sticky....and a bit too much.
Molly is the totally adorable quirky fat girl who always has crushes on guys - 27 to be exact, and none of them ever have a crush back. If that's not the worst, she's also the twin sister of willowy blonde Cassie who is the heart throb of all the boys and girls in the school. Molly is diagnosed with anxiety and takes Zoloft to manage her symptoms, and I think the book does an admirable job in addressing Molly's disorder. This is an LGBTQ-friendly book as Cassie is bisexual and the twins are raised by their moms, who are an interracial couple. Set during the legalization of gay marriage, this book does a great job of navigating the experience of a teen whose family is affected by the legal change. This book is unapologetically inclusive and that's probably what I love best about it.
Molly, like most teen girls, has insecurities. When she starts to feel that not only one, but two guys are interested in her, she has a dilemma of sorts. Should she choose the super sweet fat boy and be a joke or the hot guy that she's not sure if he's into her or not. Then it does the whole "Pride and Prejudice" love triangle where you're not really sure who she's going to pick until the last few chapters.
In short, this book is an LGBTQ-friendly Bridget Jones/Pride and Prejudice for teens.You'll either love that or hate that.
Recommendation: It's a solid read, if you're expecting this to be Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, move on. If you want a cutesy romance - Ding! You've found a winner.