I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend.
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.
— Becky Albertalli, The Upside of Unrequited
I don’t know why I was even remotely surprised that I loved this book. It’s by Becky Albertalli. The same Becky Albertalli who wrote Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda a.k.a. one of my all time favorite books of all time.
Aside from being surprised, I am also feeling regret that I even hesitated to pick this book up from the moment it was released. I shouldn’t have doubted Becky Albertalli. I guess I was just scared that this’ll disappoint especially after how much I loved Simon.
I was wrong and I absolutely have no qualms of admitting that.
Pretty sure this book was not meant to make you cry but I cried!
Literal silent tears streaming down my face.
It wasn’t sad. On the contrary, the reason why I love Becky Albertalli’s books so much is that despite it being sold as your typical teenage love story, it most definitely isn’t just about that. And because of that, there are no unnecessary teenage angst and drama which usually annoy me. So basically her books are just fluffy an happy books.
I feel like 80% of each of her book is focused on family matters, friendship, self love, and character developments. The love stories, despite how cute they are, take the back seat. It’s refreshing, really. It makes you realize how your teenage love story isn’t your entire world.
Nevertheless, I cried. I feel no shame on admitting that.
I related so much with Molly Adele Peskin-Suso.
Molly has had 26 crushes in the past. But despite that, she never had a boyfriend, much more a first kiss.
She’s fine with that, though. Until she accidentally paired up her twin sister with a gorgeous girl she met in a bathroom. Now her sister seems to be in love and Molly’s never felt so alone.
But then again, this gorgeous girl seemed to come in a package deal with a hot hipster boy.
Is he going to be crush Number 27 and eventual first boyfriend?
Probably the reason why I cried was the fact that I know what it’s like to be scared to put yourself out there. To acknowledge that you can’t just wait for someone to come in your life and decide to stay. You have to work for it too. It hit me on a personal level how Molly struggled to be the independent young lady her parents raised her to be and know that she doesn’t need a boyfriend to make her life complete…but she still wants one.
On a daily basis, she sees couples all around looking happy and content with their person. How can people find their perfect match in this world? She feels like she’s the only one who isn’t good enough. How can she when even her grandmother calls her fat and tells her that the reason she’s perpetually single is because she isn’t doing anything to lose some weight.
Same, Molly. Same.
- Light and fluffy. Life is already hard and unnecessarily dramatic in real life sometimes. So why read a book that’ll only add to your emotional baggage, right? I appreciate how this book was such an easy and fast read. It deals with a lot of important topics but it still managed to just make me feel happy reading it. Despite it making me cry.
- Diversity. Okay, this is where I learned the word pansexual. I wouldn’t have known that word and its meaning have I not read this book. Also, the inter-racial characters are amazing. Even religion-wise, this book was diverse.
- Character Cameos. I literally screamed when Simon was first mentioned. Molly has been incessantly mentioning her cousin Abby and her boyfriend Nick. But I didn’t put the two together to realize that that in itself is character cameos from her other book (for shame!). Not until “Simon’s house” was mentioned and then it clicked. After that I was just keeping my eyes peeled for the word Simon. I have never been so happy to read character cameos in my life.
- Focused on self love. It may sound cliche but this is very important. Especially in Young Adult books! Most books focus heavily on how a girl is proven beautiful when she has a boyfriend that has abs or is wanted by other girls too. That shouldn’t be the case and that is so wrong on so many levels. This book made it clear how you should definitely love yourself first and that it isn’t wrong to go out there to get what you want.
- Cute flirty moments. I may hate the drama, but I live for cute flirty moments between our main characters.
- Family focused. I love how more than half of the book involves Molly’s family. Even extended family. It is shown how much she’s so loved by everyone. Yes, there were misunderstandings, but which family doesn’t have those?
- Standalone. Like most contemporary books, this is a standalone. By the end of the story, I was forced to say goodbye to this set of characters and I’m just not ready for that! I want more!
Book Rating: 5 stars