When was the last time I got a review out by release date? Like....2014? I'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF. Clearly, turning 26 has made me grow up at once immediately completely because this is how #biology works.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
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Release date: TODAY, April 11th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Length: 352 pages
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss/print ARC from ALAMW
Rating: *BIG GOOBER DOOFUS SMILE*
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. 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. 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 a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
This book made me grin so hard my cheeks hurt. Seriously, I was grinning so hard and for such an extended amount of time that it basically became exercise. I now have buff cheeks.
Becky has the magical ability to write character that feel so completely like teenagers. I mean, 99% of the books i read star teenagers, but in both Simon and Upside, these characters are just SUCH seventeen-year-olds, in the best, most relatable, and most adorable way. LIke Simon, Molly is just the most precious and relatable cinnamon roll, with a mega precious family, a whole mess of complexes, and the most delightful voice. I could have stayed in Molly's head, chilling with her AMAZING MOMS OMG ADOPT ME, forever. All the characters are just such real people that I feel like I know them, but especially Molly. She is just...I don't have WORDS for her. I just want to hug her and take her out for cake.
It just makes my heart so beyond mega happy to read Becky's books that somehow they make me completely forget how to word. I swear I used to be an articulate person??? but somehow all I can think to say right now is SQUEEEEEEEE
I know I've used the word "relatable" twice already in this review, but for real, Molly and Teenage Me are kindred souls. I love this girl, and I understood her SO HARD, with all her crushes and her anxiety but also the way she does love herself, and her awkwardness and her PINTEREST-Y CREATIVITY, like girl, we should be best friends, WE CAN CRAFT AND BAKE TOGETHER and be boy crazy but also really freaking terrible at telling boys we like them! Molly, fat anxious heroine of my heart. <3333
I'm seventeen, and I just want to know what it feels like to kiss someone.
Molly's growth was wonderful, and the book such felt so...comfy. LIke even as it made me emotional, because I related (BUZZWORD) so much to Molly feeling like her twin sister/best friend--who is cooler and more extroverted and has a girlfriend for the first time--is sort of leaving her behind. And Cassie, said twin, has decided Molly is going to finally DATE a boy, and it's going to be her girlfriend's best friend. But then there's also adorable, nerdy Reid, Molly's coworker, who flirts using Queen Elizabeth I. No, that that sounds like it makes no sense at all, but trust me, it is the cutest flipping flopping thing ever. I WANT TO LIVE INSIDE THIS BOOK.
The diversity and inclusivity in this book is off the charts. Molly has two moms, one of whom is African American, and they are just the BEST FICTIONAL FAMILY EVER. I'm serious. I want Patty and Nadine to adopt me. I love them. I loved the Abby and Simon cameos. I JUST LOVED EVERYTHING. IM SMILING RIGHT NOW JUST RELIVING THIS BOOK. I don't even know how to review it coherently! I'm just a big mushball. I want to hug this book to my heart. I'm adefinitely a big soppy puddle of gooey happiness. Which is kind of gross, but, whatever.
ALSO WHY DO BECKY'S BOOKS MAKE ME SO HUNGRY??? FIRST OREOS, NOW COOKIE DOUGH. It's just not nice.
NOW YOU WANT IT TOO MWAHAHAAAAA
NOW YOU WANT IT TOO MWAHAHAAAAA
You would matter. That's the thing. I get into this weird place sometimes where I worry about that. I've never told anyone this--not my moms, not even Cassie--but that's the thing I'm most afraid of. Not mattering. Existing in a world that doesn't care who I am.
It's this whole other level of aloneness.
Except...sometimes I feel like I'm the last alone person. Like maybe there aren't seven and a half billion people in the world. myabe there are seven and a half billion and one.
I'm the one.
And oh. There's a lump in my throat That's another thing about me. If someone says I'm sad, or asks me what's wrong, or tells me not to cry, it's like my body hears: NOW CRY. Lke a command, even if I'm not actually sad. But maybe there are always tiny sad pieces inside me, waiting to be recognized and named. Maybe it's like that for everyone.
But there's this awfulness that comes when a guy thinks you like him. It's as if he's fully clothed and you're naked in front of him. It's like your heart suddenly lives outside your body, and when he wants, he can reach out and squeeze it.
Unless he happens to like you back.
OKAY, IS FUCKING EVERYONE INTO PHOTOGRAPHY THESE DAYS?
"You know, when you're seventeen, everything feels like the end of the world. Or the beginning of the world. And that's an awesome thing."