PUBLISHER: Balzer & Bray
DATE PUBLISHED: 11th April 2017
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?
The Upside of Unrequited delivers a one-two punch with adorable heartfelt moments and hard-hitting, important topics. The characters, the storyline, the diversity and the romantic moments all combine to create this gem of a book.
Molly is the main protagonist of this story. She is a seventeen year old girl who has never been kissed, she has 26 unrequited crushes but is incredibly shy and has never put herself out there. Molly is a fraternal twin and her sister Cassie is the opposite of her both in looks and personality.
It was refreshing to read a book from the first person perspective of a bigger girl. I loved that she was OK in her body and liked the way she was. I found it slightly irritating when others used weight as a classifying factor for her. For instance at a party a boy came up to her and said she was pretty for a bigger girl. Molly’s reaction was epic… read it and find out. These infuriating moments served a purpose in this book and led to some really important moments.
The romance is an important factor of the book. Both Cassie and Molly face romantic moments within this book with different people. It was lovely to see the diversity of sexuality even between the girls. While Molly is heterosexual, her sister is homosexual and they both accept each other for who they are and what they choose in their lives. I definitely had a favourite love interest when the possibility for two boys was introduced to Molly’s storyline. As the story progressed I loved the cute moments between the two characters and was beaming by the end of the book.
So many important topics are touched upon in this book. The concept of the fear of change and looking at it from a teenage perspective was imperative to the storyline. While it is alright not to like change, change must be accepted as a way of life. Other important topics included body image, teen drinking, sex, and Gay marriage. There was so much packed into this book that I feel that you could read it again and again and get something different from it each and every time.
The diversity in this book is unbelievable. There is diversity in sexuality, religion, and ethnicity. Molly’s parents are a Lesbian couple who are hard working and supportive of their three children. They are the picture of a loving couple and it is great to see that this is considered normal in their lives. No-one is making a big deal that they’re gay, they are just a loving caring family. Molly’s family is Jewish and there are some elements of the Jewish faith mixed into the content of this book which was really enjoyable. Ethnicity is another element of this book. There is such a wide range of characters from multiple ethnicities and they are all functioning together within this book. It is fantastic to see a book embrace diversity in many forms without a particular focus on any one type of diversity.
A stunning novel with a protagonist coming into her own. The storyline was beautiful and characters amazing. This is a book that needs to be loved, cherished and talked about.
Keep Calm and Read On,