The Upside of the Unrequited
By: Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Bang Bang Review:
Molly is the chubby twin of Cassie and has only had crushes and no boyfriends. Cassie always tells Molly to woman up and just go for it but what does Cassie know? She’s thin and doesn’t have to fear rejection. Cassie has finally found love with a Korean cool chick, Mina, and they decide to hook up Molly with Mina’s best guy friend. Although Molly is suspicious of their motives she kind of goes along with it. Meanwhile Molly has a new job with a super nerd named Ried but they’re just friends-or so Molly tells herself.
The Upside is full of teen angst and just like Simon, it’s full of honest conversations that teens rarely have in YA fiction. The feeling of being the third wheel and the guilt of making someone the third wheel, the feeling of rejection regardless of what one looks like, and all types of love are explored in the Upside. Some may feel that Albertalli has taken a checklist to her book-a Korean girl; bi-racial lesbian couple who can finally get married; bi-racial teen lesbian couple; Jewish families; and chubby teens but Albertalli writes in a way that it feels authentic. The Upside didn’t make a big deal out of the things listed; it just happened to be everyday life and I appreciate that. I also liked that Molly was never on a diet-YAAAASSS!
The only downside of The Upside was that Molly was a bit too in her head. I’m an adult and I’ve read plenty of contemporary but I can honestly say that I am NOT the demographic for this book. This book is STRAIGHT UP for teens because all of their issues I found myself getting really bored but my 16-year-old self would have totally LOVED this book. Although I can admit this isn’t for me, I still lowered the rating because of it. I LOVED Simon for the main character and it’s authentic voice but Molly was just too in her head and there was nothing special going on in there.