Being 100% Relatable in The Upside of Unrequited || BOOK REVIEW

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli


Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, LGBT+
Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 2017
Publisher: PUFFIN
Pages: 336 {paperback}

Originally posted on Goodreads

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Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

SO THAT WAS THE SINGLE BEST THING EVER AND I LOVED IT. Just when you thought nothing would top Simon vs, Albertalli sweeps you off your feet!! I literally loved everything about this book and the story and the characters. THE STRESS WAS REAL. The diversity and representation was also real. Omg I just can’t even. Like I’m dead. This book was too good and my heart is a mess.

The Upside of Unrequited

This books follow a girl called Molly who is straight. Yet this book has such fantastic LGBT+ representation! The story follows her romantic journey in the world of unrequited love. It’s honestly fantastic. This book is 100% relatable for anyone out there who’s ever had a crush, and let’s face it, that’s everyone.


Seriously, though, this is how Molly speaks/thinks:

“I don’t think there are words to explain how I feel.
Okay, you know that emoji that’s laughing and crying all at one?
It’s that. I’m that.”

Throughout the book we’re faced with the dilemmas of a shy girl who’s not the “pretty girl” or anything like that. She’s your normal teenager struggling to cross that bridge to act upon those feelings and stop her list of 27 crushes (or somewhere around there) from getting any bigger.

This book is also linked to her previous book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It’s set in the same ‘world’ and if you remember the characters from that book you’ll be able to link them up nicely.

I loved this story because it’s so entertaining. It’s funny and it’s so true. Molly’s mindset about the whole thing was bang on. How do people just go up to others and work out if they fancy them back? Doesn’t it just take you back to high school?

We go through the ups and downs and experiencing her life living with two mums and her sister who is so out-going and lesbian. It’s a crazy time filled with everything you could have asked for in a book from Albertalli.

LGBT+ Representation

I don’t know why I even really need to talk about this — it’s Albertalli we’re talking about. She’s practically royalty in the LGBT+ category. If Simon wasn’t enough to convince you then I don’t know what is.

I thought it was very clever that this book has such good representation (from my perspective in any case) considering she’s written the whole thing from a straight character’s point of view. It was wonderful to just be in her family situation like that and see the trials and tribulations that the family came up against. It was beautiful.

I loved the scenes where Cassie and Molly talk about relationships and go out together — I mean I also felt very sorry for Molly being dragged to these parties, but eh. They were such a good sister pair and really supported each other. I enjoyed following Cassie’s journey with her numerous relationships as much as I enjoyed cringing along with Molly as she’s falls for the local shop boy.

The bottom line here is that there is absolutely no shortage of LGBT+ representation in this book. It’s practically oozing from it.

The Best Characters

I loved all the characters in this book. Molly, as I’ve said, was hilarious and relatable and all the other characters surrounding her were unique and interesting. I found Will the hardest character to like because he came across as such a jock. When we eventually get a little bit more of his perspective and find out that SPOILER [highlight to see]: >>he has feelings for Mina<< I found it easier to like him. Even if it meant Molly embarrassed herself when SPOILER [highlight to see]: >>she gets all brave and tries to kiss him<< .

Cassie was both wonderful and annoying. I get that there was a lot going on for her but sometimes I really just wanted her to take her angst down a notch. I agree with Molly that there is nothing wrong with staying home and knitting with grandma. Sounds like my kind of evening. Cassie had some wonderful viewpoints though!

“We like who we like. Who cares is someone else doesn’t get it? That’s a good thing. That’s less competition.”

The boy that Molly crushes on for the most part of this book (whose name I shan’t reveal to keep ye who’ve yet to read it in suspense) was ADORABLE. Seriously — can I have him? He was so dorky and cute and just perfect in every sense of the word for Molly. I loved it. This is just the best book for following two people falling for each other and screaming JUST KISS ALREADY multiple times at the pages. SPOILER [highlight to see]: >>Let’s not even talk about how much my heart died and reanimated aggressively when Reid pushes Molly’s hair out of her face in the rain. *swoons*<< I also particularly loved his obsession with mini eggs:

“Hey, guess what,” I say quickly.
Of course he actually tries to guess. “You found found a tiny chocolate chicken inside a Mini Egg.”

And for the sake of anyone wanting to relive that beautiful moment involving a swing: SPOILER [highlight to see]:>>

“…he picks up my hand and threads our fingers together.
My heart’s in my throat.
“I’m going to kiss you,” I say, and I hear my voice shaking.
“That’s a good idea.”
He wraps his arms around me, and the swing creaks faintly. I think my brain has become unglued. I lean forward. Somehow, my body knows how to do this.
And I do this.
His mouth is softer than I even thought.”



That’s all I really need to say for this book. It made my all time favourites list easily by being adorable, wonderful, quirky and fun and I will throw this book are your face until you read it because it is A MUST READ. Got it? Good.

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Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~


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