Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

It took me TWO months to finish reading The Upside of Unrequited (two whole months!)This wasn’t the fault of the book, though, but instead the result of my busy college life.

Remember when I said I was absolutely not going to neglect this blog when school started? Well, I am a liar. I did try though!

The Upside of Unrequited is adorable. It is a cute and light read that distracted me with Molly’s funny, tumultuous love life during a pretty miserable couple of months.

As the blurb indicates, Molly has a habit of developing crushes that she never, ever acts on. Molly plays it safe because of her self-image, which she struggles to accept, and because first love can be scary.

I liked the representation of so many different types of characters. Each character felt genuine and real. The dialogue was hilarious and perfect.

Molly is such an honest and sweet character that it is impossible to dislike her. She struggles to deal with her twin sister becoming distant and focusing on her new relationship. My favorite part of this book was Molly’s experience with feeling left behind. She notices her sister and friends becoming more ‘mature’ (having romantic and sexual relationships, drinking, and going to parties) and feels like she is still just a little kid who can’t keep up. I loved the way this topic was handled in the book.

BUT…

There’s a love triangle, and it is unnecessary and underdeveloped. It felt forced and like a device that was only meant to intervene with the relationship Molly really wants to be in.

Lastly, and unfortunately, Molly only begins to overcome her issues with her self-image after she is in a relationship. I think this is annoying because Molly shouldn’t need a boyfriend to validate how beautiful she is, but, at the same time, it is realistic. Many girls become comfortable with themselves because they are in a relationship with someone who perceives them a certain way. I think maybe it would have been better to have Molly accept herself on her own, without the influence of a boyfriend.

Overall

The Upside of Unrequited is a lovely and memorable book that really captures what its like to be a teen trying to navigate relationships, love, and growing up (especially the struggles of growing up when you feel like everyone is maturing way faster than you are).

Have you read The Upside of Unrequited? If so, share your thoughts! If not, do you want to?

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