REVIEW: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

contemporary, romance, young adult
Rep: Jewish, fat girl, fat boy, f/f relationships (including pansexual and bisexual), anxiety, POC, etc.
Pages: 336, British paperback
Publisher: Penguin

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances”
Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly is always careful. Better to be careful than to be hurt. But when Cassie gets a new girlfriend who comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick, everything changes. Will is funny, flirtatious and basically the perfect first boyfriend. There’s only one problem: Molly’s co-worker, Reid, the awkward Tolkien superfan she could never fall for…right? A heart-warming and hilarious story about growing up and learning to be comfortable in your own skin


Well, first of all I was not expecting to get through this so quickly. I started this midday on Thursday, and then finished it in the afternoon the next day. It’s almost a 350 page book so that’s something right there. I also heard that this was a companion novel to Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Simon made an appearance in the book. Due to not reading Simon VS first, I missed this but…it just gives me an excuse to re-read the whole thing again.

There was so much diversity in this book. So. Much. Molly herself is Jewish, she’s fat and she takes medication for her anxiety. Her twin sister, Cassie, is a lesbian who’s love interest is a pansexual Korean American. Their parents are in a female/female relationship (I believe one is bisexual, and one is a person of colour). Molly’s love interest, Reid, was chubby and not like your usual young adult male love interest at all and he was also Jewish. My favourite thing about this was how none of it was made into a big deal. It was just something that existed.

I knew that, due to being autistic and not with a pretty face, I wouldn’t be able to relate to Molly a whole lot but I could relate to her more than I can usually relate to non-autistic main characters. She even has anxiety, hers is at a lower level than mine is at the moment but she is taking medication for hers and I’m not so that probably has something to do it. We share similar thought processes, as well. I also think this is the first fat main character I’ve read with good rep and the first fat character I’ve read in a book with no fatphobia (aside from her Grandma, which was addressed).

I don’t usually like contemporary, cutesy love stories but this one was just…great. Adorable, and great.  It just made me remember what falling in love feels like. I love being in my long term relationship but it’s just nice to feel it again, you know? Even if it is kind of “second hand” emotions.

Thought I think my favourite part was how comfortable the whole novel felt. It felt like I was with friends I had known for a long time. It was cozy and comfortable and fluffy.

So yes. Read it.

I am going to list some minor issues I had with the story though, that I think you should not read if you haven’t read the book because seriously you should read the book, but if you have read it already (and it’s likely that you have), then read on:

  • Some things were just a little too convenient. I wish the way the story connected together flowed a little better (despite really liking the writing style), as everything just felt really carefully planned out
  • I know that seventeen year olds really enjoy sex and I know being asexual makes my opinion a little biased, but I thought there was also a lot of sex talk that I wasn’t really fond of. I felt like that could ease down a bit *spoilers in italics* also, the whole situation between Reid and Molly was just sexual tension and why, why would you do that, I wanted something to happen!
  • There was some drama near the end of the book that I didn’t feel like it belonged there, although it did help the next part of the story happen, it just kinda bugged me a little

So there you go! I loved this book a lot. It was so cute and fluffy and lightweight and that’s exactly the kind of book I wanted to read right now. I want to read more of them so Simon VS is next on my shopping list.

Thank you for reading




2 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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