Albertalli's The Upside of Unrequited is a wonderfully woven story about a girl who finds herself and accepts who she is, finding love during the process. The story opens on the main character Molly, 17 years old, who has yet to have her first kiss. Despite her lack of romantic experience, Molly has developed feelings for 25 boys, all of whom either have no idea that she feels this way or look at her as just a friend. Molly rarely puts herself out there, as she struggles with her body. She is curvier than those around her, which impacts her self-confidence tremendously. When Molly meets Mina in the bathroom of a dance club, she is introduced to Mina's friends Will and Max. Molly immediately develops feelings for Will. Mina and Cassie, Molly's twin sister, begin to date and Cassie is determined to set up Molly and Will. However, when Molly gets a job at a boutique downtown, she is introduced to the owner's son: Reid. This complicates things, as Molly begins to like him and he shows that he cares for Molly as well. Thanks to Cassie and Mina, Will and Molly begin to hang out, but it eventually becomes clear that Will views their relationship as one between friends. Finally, Molly decides to put herself out there and experience rejection if necessary. First with Will, who confesses his love for Mina after Molly attempts to kiss him, and then with Reid, who as it turns out, likes Molly very much. She experiences her first kiss and realizes that her self-worth should not be determined by how boys view her, but rather by how she views herself. By the end of the novel, Molly accepts her body, flaws and all, and develops a strong sense of self-worth and self-identity. This book teaches readers to love themselves and be proud of who they are, an essential lesson in today's society, where teens are subject to judgment both in real life and on social media. I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other teens- everyone has something to take away from Molly's story. It definitely is more of a "chick-lit" book, but others have the potential to enjoy it as well. Overall, a great read!
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reviewed by Amasha J.
I read The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. I thought it was an amazing book. It was written very well and displays accurate examples of teenage relationships, friendships, and sibling bonds. The book gives a perspective from someone who doesn't see her own self worth, which makes the book a lot more realistic. I really enjoyed the way she handled every situation like an actual teenager would. The book was funny and cute while also bringing up serious topics like drinking and insecurities. This is a great read for anyone who loves a quirky narrator and plenty of funny situations. I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
I give this book a 5 out of 5.
Review by: Jess K.
This book is defiant of social expectations from the start. It follows a girl named Molly who suffers from depression and anxiety. She is quirky and nervous and funny and draws you in immediately. She has had many crushes but never dated a boy and that is where the story picks up. Molly has a twin sister Cassie who is the exact opposite of her. She is very confident and assertive and she has definitely dated people in the past. Molly is eventually caught between a boy she meets through Cassie’s girlfriend, and another boy she works with.
Her journey of finding out who she truly likes and getting past her fears enough to let him through the high walls she has built around her personality is endearing. Becky Albertalli makes you laugh and feel Molly’s pain and really connect with her.
The one criticism I have of this book is Cassie’s relationship with her girlfriend, Mina. It is not developed very well and it is difficult to comprehend how they become very close very quickly or how they get over their fights because those parts are not actually in the narrative. However the purpose of this may be that the book is from Molly’s perspective. I would have liked to see better development in that relationship but overall this was a beautiful book to read. If you’re looking for an unusual teen romance I recommend this one.
I give this book a 4/5.
Review by Neha A.