It’s here! It’s here! As of today, Becky Albertalli’s newest book, The Upside of Unrequited, is officially on shelves (well, at least here in the US). In case you didn’t know, I won an ARC of Upside through a Twitter giveaway, and I adored every page. It’s tied for my favorite read of the year so far. I never actually got around to writing a review, though. SO, here’s the deal. Since I love this book so much, and also because I just adore Becky Albertalli as an author and person, I wanted to do a special post to celebrate its release! I’ve made a little aesthetic for the book, and I also am going to detail some of the many reasons you NEED to read this book. Sound good? Let’s do it!
reasons you need to read it
- The representation.
This could honestly be an entire list in and of itself, but the representation in this book is absolutely fantastic. Molly, our protagonist, is fat and– this is the key– doesn’t want to or try to change her body. She also has anxiety, and the fact that she takes medication for her anxiety is frequently discussed in the book (including how Zoloft interacts with alcohol!). As someone who is 1.) also fat and 2.) also takes an SSRI to treat my anxiety, I appreciated seeing myself in this main character so much. <3 But the representation doesn’t stop there! Molly’s love interest, Reid, is also fat. Her twin sister, Cassie, is a lesbian and begins dating a Korean-American, pansexual girl. Plus, Molly and Cassie’s moms are incredible. <3 It was awesome to see two women in an interracial relationship, especially in two of the strongest parental figures I’ve seen in YA. I could go on and on, but each element of the representation in this book was woven in so sensitively and flawlessly (I know Becky has discussed the importance of sensitivity readers with Upside many times). It makes my heart so happy to know that so many readers will see themselves in the pages of this novel.
- Molly as a protagonist.
MOLLY PESKIN-SUSO IS A GODDAMN ANGEL. Not only could I relate to Molly because of her weight and her anxiety, but she’s just an AWESOME person. Molly’s voice was so strong, and reading from her perspective really made me feel like she was a real person I could be friends with. Her inner monologue was too relatable– there were so many instances while reading when one of Molly’s thoughts/observations about the world or the people around her was something I had thought about multiple times. She went through such immense growth over the course of the book; I felt so proud of her by the end. Yes, the premise of the book revolves around Molly having 26 unrequited crushes and yet no kisses or relationships, but the story doesn’t solely focus on romance. There’s a huge emphasis on friendships, familial relationships, and Molly’s own relationship with herself.
- The summery vibes.
This is seriously the perfect contemporary to read this spring/summer. The story takes place over the summer, and you get all kinds of summery adventures– starting a new job, making new friends, planning a wedding. It’s so great.
- The *~aesthetic~*.
This might sound like a weird reason to read this book, but the overall aesthetic of Upside is on point. The store Molly works at for the summer was kinda like a small-business version of Anthropologie. Molly’s entire wardrobe seemed like something straight off of Modcloth. Molly loves to craft and bake, and she’s always making things for the people she loves. It was just delightful.
- The writing; specifically, the characters.
Becky Albertalli excels at writing characters. As I mentioned above, Molly’s voice was incredibly strong, but all the other characters felt so three-dimensional. Absolutely no filler side characters here. Becky has a way of characterizing that makes you instantly feel like you know these people, and it truly makes for a great reading experience.
- The sister relationship.
I’ve never had a sister, let alone a twin sister, but I adored Molly and Cassie’s relationship. They’re best friends, but they’re completely different. I loved seeing the evolution of their relationship as they both went through life changes and evolved as people. Yay for strong familial relationships in YA!
- The romance (duh).
How could I write this post and not talk about the romance? Reid is my favorite nerdy cinnamon roll. He’s a genuinely great guy. His relationship with Molly developed so naturally and was… quietly swoonworthy? Is that even an understandable description? The romance doesn’t whack you over the head, but you don’t realize how much you ship it and desperately want it to happen until you’re almost to the end of the novel. Molly and Reid are a new OTP of mine!
- Simon and Abby cameos!
No explanation needed. 😉
Have you guys read The Upside of Unrequited? If so, let’s fangirl together! If not, are you excited to read it?!