The Upside of Unrequited

by Becky Albertalli

Paperback, 2018

Call number



Balzer Bray (2018), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages


Avoiding relationships to protect her sensitive heart, plus-sized Molly supports her once-cynical twin, Cassie, when the latter has her own bout of lovesickness, a situation that is complicated by sibling dynamics and an unexpected romantic triangle.

User reviews

LibraryThing member foggidawn
Molly has had 26 crushes but no kisses. This suddenly seems to matter a whole lot more when her twin sister gets her first serious girlfriend. It's not like Molly has no prospects: there's hipster Will, who is part of her sister's new friend group, and there's the cute, geeky guy at work. But the
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thing about crushes is that you never have to actually put yourself out there and risk being rejected...

This book is cute and super fun. It reminded me a little of Stephanie Perkins' books (a comparison I don't make lightly!), so if you liked those, you might want to try this.
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LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
This is the sweet story of twins Molly and Cassie who find love in unexpected places. Molly meets Cassie’s girlfriend in a bathroom, while she meets her Prince Charming at work, despite some friends’ attempts to set her up with someone else. In between all of the drama Molly and Cassie’s
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mothers are getting married, an event some members of their respective families do not support. There are some insightful moments as these twins grow up and learn what life is really about. I loved this author’s other book and am looking forward to reading more from her.
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LibraryThing member MickyFine
Molly has had 26 crushes but has never been kissed. And isn't really sure how people actually get to the kissing part of a relationship anyway. Her twin sister, Cassie, doesn't have that problem as is obvious by the string of girls she's made out with. But during the summer before senior year
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Cassie makes it her project to get Molly some kissage and Molly tries to really put herself out there for the first time ever.

This YA romance is super cute on a lot of levels. Molly is sweet and her feelings of being left out of the knowledge of how you go from liking someone to telling them you like them is pretty relatable. The book should also get an awesome award for its fantastic representation of LGBTQ characters. Fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith should definitely give this one a whirl.
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LibraryThing member EdGoldberg
Becky Albertalli, the author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, has penned a very readable second novel, The Upside of Unrequited. In my review of the first book I said, “If you’re looking for just a fun romance, try Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.” I’d pretty much have to say the
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same for The Upside of Unrequited.

Molly and Cassie are the twin daughters of lesbians Patty and Nadine. Cassie is cute and decidedly gay. Molly is somewhat overweight and decidedly straight. Early in the book, Cassie meets Mina and quickly falls for her. Molly, on the other hand, has had 27 crushes but has never been kissed and never had a boyfriend. Mina and Cassie try to set Molly up with Will, Mina’s best friend but there’s no chemistry. Molly, on the other hand, likes dorky Reid, a co-worker at the store at which she has a summer job. Is this going to be crush number 28?

Albertalli tackles several issues in The Upside of Unrequited: twins growing apart when one is in a relationship and the other isn’t, the insecurities of girls whose figures don’t meet the societal norm of pretty or sexy, the legalization of gay marriage. All of this is done in an easy to read, fun story. Readers will like the characters. The situations are real. The writing is descriptive.

Any reader who likes young adult romance can’t go wrong.
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LibraryThing member VavaViolet
The Upside of Unrequited is about 17 year old Molly, she's a bit overweight and has had numerous crushes. However, her feelings have remained a secret to all of the objects of her affection because of her fear of rejection. She then meets two guys who will help her step out of her comfort zone and
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change how she views relationships.

The problem I had while reading this book is that there are too many characters but not enough character building. Even Molly's character confused me, she often contradicts herself. In the author's note she admits she had difficulty writing this book, and I felt that while reading it. The story arc isn't clearly defined and it seemed to me that the story just went on and on until it could find a nice enough exit. I also found the conflict a bit shallow - teenagers wanting to have boyfriends/girlfriends, and their fascination with losing their virginity. I would like to read a book where teenagers aren't so focused on sex and booze for a change, something that wouldn't worry me if my daughter reads it.

That being said, this book also has some good points. It touches on issues like the diversity of modern day families, the bond of sisterhood, the importance of good friends, falling in love for the first time and learning to love yourself. I like it that Molly's weight isn't the main focus of this book, rather, it is about the ebbs and flows of relationships. I also like it that the author doesn't shy away from issues that the LGBTQ community faces. Molly has a twin, Cassie, and I appreciate the fact that, although they do get in each other's nerves, there is no good twin vs. evil twin angle.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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LibraryThing member Banoczi_Henrietta
this is the best book in the entire universe and nobody can tell me otherwise. i was excited to read it but i was also in the middle of a reading slump when i started but it pulled me in from the first page, the writing style is beautiful yet still simple and engaging.
i have honestly never related
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to a main character as much as i related to molly, sometimes she would think things that i have thought before, and be in situations that i've been in, and she felt so real and authentic and like a teenager. this book is a perfect mirror of reality. it's so so diverse, and the things the characters go through are just things that happen. i loved every single character, from the main characters to the side characters to the parents, which, they were probably the best parents i've ever encountered in ya literature.
i was not sure what the unrequited love would be, but then towards the end a thing happened and i cried so hard and then it all turned out well and that made me cry even more and i don't think any contemporary has ever made me feel so many things so intensely. and the relationship. oh god. THAT WAS THE MOST ADORABLE SHIT. I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER ROOTED FOR A RELATIONSHIP AS MUCH AS I HAVE FOR THIS. AND THEN WHEN IT HAPPENED. i think i didn't stop crying from the 25th chapter onwards.
this book deserves all the hype, and more, and is so important, and incredible, and emotional, and realistic, and full of representation, and i will not rest until everyone has read it. this is probably the best book i've read this year. and there were cameos. which was nice. and i can't wait for becky's next book because she has just become my favourite author ever.
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LibraryThing member AnnaBastos
Review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. I also want to thank the publisher for giving me this opportunity.

Fans of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda should enjoy some quick cameos inserted in this book but this is no Simon.

We have Molly here who has never had a boyfriend and now her twin sister
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has started dating, she's feeling even more left behind. She's terrified of the change their relationship may suffer, so she tries to finally land a boy, the best friend of her sister's girlfriend. However, her heart seems to want someone different.

I was a little bit disappointed that this wasn't really LGBT. I mean, almost every character is but the story is a pure het. As I overcame the frustration that I can never remember summaries, and then make assumptions, the cute romance really got me.

But first the flaws. And this one was also a complaint of mine for Simon. I think Albertalli has a problem of focus. It was even more perceptible here how the main story took long to take shape. On the plus side, her losing time with everyone else's lives but the main character allowed us to meet the wonderful side characters. For Simon, I confess I wasn't too into his friends so this issue bothered me even more. In this book, however, I think I loved everyone. Even Will, the crazy hipster Molly's sister wants to make her boyfriend. Actually even his friend, who barely shows. To be honest, I hoped Molly would have something with the friend instead of Will. There, I said it.

Back to flaws, I didn't know this was in Simon's universe so it came as a good surprise. Then it was just silly. Molly is Abby's cousin, who is Simon's friend. For that reason, Abby is mentioned a lot, and gets to appear during text messages and all that. The problem is that whenever that happened, it was anything but subtle. Also, it added nothing to the plot. A good surprise but distracting, as the story stood for itself.

Now what I really liked was how lovely the romance was. I'm not a fan of love triangles but even that was well executed. I did cheer for one of the them but whenever the other was on the scene, I couldn't help but hope things would happen with him and Molly. Simon had some sort of triangle as well but it was far from being as good, you can see Albertalli's improvement.

This is a different book when it comes to side characters. Diversity doesn't even begin to describe. And the core is an entertaining, can't-help-but-feel-the butterflies coming-of-age romance. Plenty of themes for a book club to discuss, and characters for readers to love. Yes, it's not as good as Simon but it's good nonetheless.

By the way, anyone else super excited for Simon's sequel just announced? From what I read here, Albertalli keeps getting better and better. I can't wait!
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LibraryThing member JillKenna
I loved this book! It was a very easy read for me and I felt like it flew by. I will definitely be reading the author's other books as soon as I can.
LibraryThing member norabelle414
Molly Peskin-Suso has had a lot of crushes, but has never even held hands with a boy. She’s surrounded by love – her moms are getting married, her best friend moved to Atlanta and got a boyfriend, her other best friend has a long-term boyfriend, and now even Molly’s twin sister Cassie is in
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love with a girl they met at a concert. When will it be Molly’s turn?

A little underwhelming. There’s nothing wrong with this book but it wasn’t very surprising and I didn’t feel like it had much else to say. I was kind of expecting a profound lesson about fully participating in society instead of watching it passively via a crush, but no. (They didn’t even discuss the fact that one of the crushes on Molly’s list is Lin-Manuel Miranda, a 35yo man she’s never met…that’s a little different than a cute boy at summer camp.) Even any points that could be made about how Molly feels about her weight seemed to fall flat. I enjoyed all of the characters but I found Molly to be kind of annoying at times. It was weird how judgmental Molly was of Reid being a “nerd” when she openly states that she has a crush on Lin-Manuel Miranda? All Reid does is wear two LOTR shirts and a Game of Thrones shirt, which is not at all nerdy by current standards. All of the bits about DC/Bethesda/Tacoma Park were overly detailed and annoying. (I also find people from Tacoma Park kind of annoying in real life so that does not help.) It was a fine book overall and I enjoyed reading it but it wasn’t special like Simon vs.
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LibraryThing member cathishaw
This is a lighthearted contemporary young adult novel about your average teenage girl (Molly) and her life. Like most teens her age, all Molly really wants to do is get a boyfriend. Except not really. She has lots of other interests but when even her twin sister has her first relationship, Molly
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feels left out.

This is a light read and fun. Molly is absolutely adorable. And why wouldn't hipster boy like her? Who wouldn't? She might not be a skinny mini but she's wonderful.

Although for me - a nerdy boy who is a huge Tolkien fan ... well, I was rooting for Reid the whole time.

Have a read and see if Molly ends up with a boyfriend or just new friends by the end of the story.

Albertalli has a gift for capturing the true teen voice. Molly is real and the reader can't help empathizing with her situation. A wonderful mix of humour, drama, and adventure - check it out!
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LibraryThing member emeliz21
I love all the representation in this novel – from Molly's weight, to her anxiety medication, her multiracial family, the lesbian representation, etc. The best part is the normality of it all.

Reid is the cutest little dork in all of Middle-Earth.

Cassie is such a bad***.

The family dynamic is
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amazing. I hate when parents are absent in young adult novels.

Basically Upside is a light, fluffy, adorable contemporary sure to bring a smile to your face.
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LibraryThing member BillieBook
This is not the book I expected to be my first five-star of the year, but it had me crying with heartbreak and then, just a few pages later, I was crying with happy. I adore Molly and would have happily spent several more hours in her company. She is vivid, real and relatable and I dare you not to
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develop a little book crush on her.
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LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
Like a warm fuzzy sweater on gloomy day, this book feels good to read. Sometimes it's a little too teenage angst-y, sometimes it feels like a case for diversity while also presenting a checklist of social issues, but at its heart, it's a story of a teen girl working up the courage to tell a guy she
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likes him. I had my worries from the book's title that things might not end well in this tale, but I was happily proven wrong and I'd encourage fans of YA fiction to enjoy this book.
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LibraryThing member benuathanasia
It's good, I guess. Interesting characters and realistic dialogue (if not insanely vulgar purpose other than shock value?). It's just, the plot is soooo cliched it's REALLY hard to give a crap. Self-conscious girl likes boy. Girl not sure if boy likes girl. Boy like girl but isn't sure if
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girl likes boy. Paltry misunderstandings happen because someone walks in partway on a conversation and never gets clarification until way later. Nothing original.
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LibraryThing member DKnight0918
Pretty good book.
LibraryThing member indygo88
Molly is 17, and though she's had a lot of crushes, she's never had a boyfriend. She's self-conscious about her weight and when her twin sister meets a girl and the two of them become an item, Molly feels left out and even more insecure.

I would consider this a "cute" YA novel. It was decent and
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there was a lot of appropriate teenage angst as you might expect in a story of this sort. There were also a lot of diversity-type issues -- almost too many packed into one story to be believable: bisexuality/homosexuality, same-sex marriage and dual moms, multi- and mixed races, sperm donors, etc. Plus a lot of present-day teenage "stuff" such as anxiety controlled with medication, talk of birth control, alcohol, weight and self-image, texting & emojis, and tons more. It was mostly relatable, but at times it did feel like Albertalli was trying to cram in as much as she could in one book. The basic story wasn't anything particularly unique, but it was mostly enjoyable because the author is a good writer. However, having said that, it didn't live up to its predecessor, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (aka Love, Simon). Overall, enjoyable, but not her best.
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LibraryThing member BingeReader87
Unsurprisingly good. I loved the story and couldn't stop reading. I related with Molly and her struggles and really enjoyed the story and her development as an anxious teen. Definitely an awesome read.
LibraryThing member iwriteinbooks
Ok, so, confession time.
I did NOT love this book until about two thirds of the way through.
I did, however, love the last third.
I think maybe it's just because it's the last Becky book I had left to read and I was spending most of my time comparing. I'm really not sure.
Molly (the protagonist) came
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off really whiney and it was gearing for much of the book.
But on to the good stuff.
Molly does eventually find herself and she finds her family along the way.
I think being a teenager is just hard. Heck, being a human is hard. And Molly hasn't exactly had the easiest time. Her moms are in love. Her sister is in love. Her best friend and cousin are in love. Molly is just perpetually crushing on someone (rotating different someone's) unattainable.
She is fat and shy and geeky which, in the world of high school, are not really hot commodities. But, as usual in fiction, those things land her exactly where she needs to be.
I loved the realness of the story and the usual Becky snark. And I'm really glad I kept reading because the ending was totally worth it.
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LibraryThing member Chris.Bulin
This was just what I needed. There was nothing tragic, a lot of teen angst, and an accurate depiction of the inner thoughts of the much larger than average girl. It also reminded me of what a magic day it was when the Obergerfell decision came down. Also, hallelujah for bi characters in living
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monogamous relationships.
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006234871X / 9780062348715
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