The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062348708
Branch Call Number: FICTION Alb
Description: 340 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso can't deal with rejection. When a cute new girl enters her twin sister Cassie's love life, she comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Can Molly overcome her fears and score her first kiss and first boyfriend?

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TSCPL_Miranda Feb 11, 2019

I just love everything that Becky Albertalli writes! Molly's voice is hilarious and vulnerable, and yet again I found myself wishing one of Albertalli's characters could be my best friend. The book contains a diverse cast of characters, but it's not at all forced. This story was a joy to read, and I'm sorry that it's over.

PimaLib_ChristineR Jul 07, 2018

This is what I think of as straight teen-girl YA. Molly thinks of herself as the "fat" girl who would rather have silent crushes than be outright crushed by rejection. She thinks everyone around her is much more experienced than her. She misses the clues that everyone else might just be faking it too. While Molly spends a lot of time thinking about her crushes, the real catalyst for the story is her twin sister becoming involved with her own love life and Molly feels left behind.

I've read reviews that knock this as "fat girl feels better when cute boy likes her" but I'd say that's a really narrow read of what happens with Molly. First, this is from Molly's perspective. She's the one calling herself "fat" but we don't actually know how the other characters interpret her. In fact, from what we are shown, it seems like people think Molly is an amazing DIYer, and good at conversation. She is the one who introduces her sister to the girl Molly thinks will be perfect for her. She is the one who has two boys quite interested in her. It's more what she chooses to believe. So I don't see this as the "fat girl being saved" but as the young girl realizing that not only is she not left behind, but the people who count, including her family, have been admiring her all along.

I would be surprised if there wasn't a high school girl out there who can't identify with Molly on some level, and that's Abertalli's specialty, taking the ordinary angst of being a teenager, and turning it into something affirming for her characters and her readers.

ArapahoeSusanW Jun 06, 2018

I'm obviously in the minority here but I just couldn't really warm up to this novel despite the reassuring theme that it's okay to be a late bloomer. The characters just weren't compelling especially twin sister Cassie. Maybe I'm jaded having read a number of YA novels that transcended the genre but this one just seemed like standard YA fare with a few LBGT characters thrown in.

ArapahoeTiegan May 24, 2018

I LOVED Molly! They way Albertalli portrays Molly is so relatable - Molly is just a young girl trying to figure herself out. She has insecurities about her body, many crushes on boys she believes could never like her back, she fights with her moms and her twin sister, and has to navigate the changes in her relationship with her sister as Cassie gets her first girlfriend. Molly also gets a job for the summer and meets a boy she can be herself around, but believes she has no feelings for him. As she finds herself thinking about him more and more and wanting to talk to him all the time, Molly starts to realize she might have been wrong.

The writing was so spectacular for all of these characters and I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times at how Albertalli can turn a phrase. This was such a cute story about first serious relationships and the ways in which families navigate the changes those relationships bring.

Jan 22, 2018

While I didn’t like this quite as much as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I still thought this was another great Becky Albertalli book about growing up and finding your identity. Molly is a relatable character with insecurities and unrequited crushes, but she’s also very self-aware and productive. While Molly has crushes and potential boyfriends, the most well drawn relationship is between Molly and her twin sister, Cassie. When Cassie gets a girlfriend, Molly suddenly feels a distance between them that hadn’t been there before. My only complaint is that it drove me crazy that Molly and Cassie call their mothers by their first names. It’s also worth noting that Simon and Abby from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda make cameos.

Dec 19, 2017

This YA fiction was a breath of fresh air. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, nor did I expect to be intrigued, but Becky Albertalli created characters, plotlines and emotions that captured my attention! I also must applaud her on creating what seems like a normal and overrated topic and transforming it into such a novel! Molly has always known to be careful, because fat girls need to be careful. Her twin sister, Cassie, never has these problems and tells Molly consistently to “woman up”. But Molly knows better and remains hidden within the folds of her heart that have reached out to 26 different people. Everything changes, though, when Cassie finds someone new and leaves Molly feeling more alone than ever. She sees chances in every corner, and just when she thinks she has found a way to finally find love… she realizes sometimes even the best people cannot find the best in others. This book worked quite well for me. I appreciated how the author refused to allow the love triangle to obscure the main ideas of this book, but also managed to implement it into Molly’s character. Not only was this a book of Molly’s coming-of-age but also the importance of family. Molly and Cassie’s relationship definitely hit turmoils during the chapters but wrapped up in a way that benefits the reader and reminded me that where there is happiness, there is family. (Rating 4/5)
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

liljables Oct 31, 2017

Molly Peskin-Suso is 17 years old, and she's been in love 26 times, but not once has her love been reciprocated. Now, there's nothing wrong with Molly - she's a bright, creative, friendly teenager who happens to be fat - but she always keeps her crushes secret from the objects of her affection. When her twin sister/best friend, Cassie, enters into her first serious relationship, Molly feels her sister start to grow distant. Our heroine realizes that she'll be left in the dust if she doesn't finally grow a pair of ovaries and ask out her latest love interest.

As you can guess from the synopsis, this novel isn't action-packed, but oh, how I loved Molly Peskin-Suso. What a wonderful voice for a teenage narrator. I think many readers will relate to some (or many) of Molly's experiences in this book: feeling left behind by friends who are starting to date; insecurity about being sexually inexperienced; having low self-esteem because your body doesn't look the way society wants it to; the list goes on and on. And let's talk about that diversity! This novel is jam-packed with people of all colours and sexual identities, and not a single character feels shoe-horned in. If you're looking for a quick, easy, highly relatable read, The Upside of Unrequited is an absolute no-brainer

Oct 24, 2017

No story here. Just a lot of talking about getting "Molly Golly" a boyfriend. Checks all the diversity blocks, making it feel formulaic. A bucket-load of F-bombs.

Oct 05, 2017

I want it noted, I only finished this book so quickly because I had a long plane ride and it was the only book I brought. It is not a consequence of how much I liked this book because honestly, it was only average for me.

I was expecting a lot from Albertalli, especially after SVHA. But this book wasn't up to par. My main issue with them was the characters. I didn't like them. I thought Cassie was selfish the whole time, she didn't feel realistic to me. Molly's only concern with life was boys and I can't handle that level of boy crazy in books. Where are her aspirations? What is she thinking about college? I did like Molly's stance on girls who don't fit the societal definition of beautiful. I also liked that Molly's anxiety was a large part of her voice. It was annoying at parts (but my own anxiety is annoying too) but it was well-executed. The other characters were flat. unlike in SVHA, they were stereotypical and 2D. Both of the friends, the boys and even the moms fell flat. I wanted more substance from them and while yes, the story wasn't about them, they just floated around Molly's world and that wasn't enough for me. Also I felt Molly took them all for granted and I didn't like that either.

What I did enjoy was the candid conversations about sex, sexual identity, beauty and change. It was ironic, actually, that the characters could have such poignant, important conversations about difficult topics but they couldn't talk to each other about who they liked. That part was petty. But I appreciated the outright conversations of important stances and issues that should be talked about in YA.

Overall, the book was fine. But really nothing more than that. I will probably keep it on my shelf because of the important representation it has, not just in diverse characters but also in the conversations that I think more YA books should have.

MsCourtney Jul 07, 2017

A contemporary romance featuring a diverse cast of characters with believable dialogue. Uses text messages effectively to boost the story.

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May 02, 2017

Molly Peskin-Suso is the queen of unrequited love. At seventeen, she has had twenty-six crushes, but zero boyfriends. She hasn’t even been kissed. By contrast, Molly’s twin sister Cassie has an easy confidence when it comes to hooking up with girls, and she always tells Molly everything. But then Mina arrives on the scene, and for the first time ever, Cassie is totally crushed out, and a little bit secretive, leaving Molly out in the cold. But Mina has a cute best friend named Will, and Molly might not feel so left out if he was her boyfriend. So why can’t Molly stop thinking about her nerdy co-worker, Reid?


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May 02, 2017

There’s this feeling I get when I watch other people kiss. I become a different form of matter. Like they’re water, and I’m an ice cube. Like I’m the most alone person in the entire world.


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