Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review: The Upside of Unrequited - Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited 
Beck Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenges: #ContRom2017, #NGEW2017
I was so excited to get my hands on this book. Albertalli touched my heart with Simon, and I was eager to read more of her work. Well, I was not disappointed, as Unrequited was chock-full of all that warmth and adorableness that won me over in Simon.
It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It's almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.
I have to believe, that most people can relate to having unrequited crushes, and feeling as though you are the LAST single person on the face of the earth. I know I identified in a big way with Molly. She was so stressed because she was not the movie-perfect teen, she didn't have the perfect body, she was a little awkward. I suffered from all those things for a long, long time too. Those feelings of inadequacy, and believing that I didn't deserve to have the type of attention and love that most people yearn for. These feelings radiated from Molly, and I wanted to give her hugs and affirmations to assure her that see WAS worthy. I wanted her to see the girl I saw while reading this. She was kind, loving, generous, talented, smart, witty, and wonderful. She had so many wonderful qualities, and I think that is why I was cheering her on for the entire book.
Except...sometimes I feel like I'm the last alone person. Like maybe there aren't seven and a half billion people in the world. Maybe there are seven and a half billion and one. I'm the one.
A HUGE theme in this book is "Love is Love". In fact, the story takes place as the Marriage Equality Act is enacted, and features many characters who fall under the LGBTQIA umbrella. There are lesbian, bisexual, transexual, pansexual, and heterosexual characters. So, there is that idea of "Love is Love", but there is also the idea of loving yourself and loving who you are. There is the idea of loving a boy, who does not fit the physical or social standards. I felt that these ideas were really important, and I loved the way Albertalli integrated them into the story.
We like who we like. Who cares if someone else doesn't get it.
Molly and Reid were so sweet and adorable and funny and real. I had a huge grin on my face almost every time they interacted in the story. Albertalli did such a wonderful job depicting first love here. I found myself with shiny eyes and a wistful heart. It really took me back a long ways, and it was fun to visit those feelings again.
He smiles at me, and I smile back, and it's like someone put the world on pause. Just for a moment.
I struggled a little when I was trying to shelve this book. Obviously, there's romance, but it was more than that. I decided to shelve it as coming-of-age, because this is about a girl who is growing into herself. Her world is shifting and changing, and it's becoming very apparent to her. She is beginning to widen her world with new people, new relationships, new experiences, and it's scary and exhilarating and amazing and a little sad.

Can I just say, I feel like an utter failure, because I did not realize that Abby, Nick, and Simon were Abby, Nick, and Simon from Simon. I love that Albertalli did that (even if I did not immediately notice). And, yeah, getting so pumped for the Simon movie!!!!

Overall: A wonderful, funny, and touching coming-of-age story filled with diverse characters and beautiful messages of love.

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book

Molly makes a delicious cookie dough dessert in this book.  
Do you like cookie dough?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. OMG I AM SO EXCITED TO READ THIS! I have heard such fantastic things about it and there are such positive things said about it in the community that I am just PUMPED! Thanks for sharing this amazing review! And yes, I adore cookie dough!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    1. Cookie dough is the stuff that dreams are made of. *smile*
      I love Albertalli's storytelling style. She deftly balances the cute-sweet with the angst-tears. Her first two books are total winners for me, and I look forward to many more stories from her.

  2. I have this book but I haven't read it... it was sent unsolicited so I might not ever read it. I have heard good things about this author's books - so much about Simon and Oreos, LOL. I love the love is love theme. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Sam!

    Have a great weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I actually giggled a little when you mentioned the oreos. Maybe you will be more compelled to read this book, if you see the Simon movie. =) Albertalli just writes these feel good stories.