“I’m on the toilet at the 9:30 Club, and I’m wondering how mermaids pee.
This isn’t random. There’s a mermaid Barbie attached to the door of the bathroom here. Which is a pretty odd choice for a bathroom mascot. If that’s even a thing. Bathroom mascots.” – Becky Albertalli, The Upside of Unrequited
If I didn’t love this book in equal amounts to SIMON vs. THE HOMO SAPIEN AGENDA, then I loved it a little more. I even read it in one day, because simply put, I couldn’t put it down. Becky Albertalli is undoubtedly one of those names everyone should know. P.S. Those opening lines are epic and pulled me in right away.
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?
I think it takes a talented author to spin a tale that both make my stomach fall out in weepy ways and fill with butterflies bringing happy tears to my eyes. It doesn’t happen often but it’s happened with both of her books.
This book hit home for me in a lot of ways. I can relate to Molly something fierce. Her self-image ups and downs. What it was like to be seventeen. Oh, and did I mention there’s a sister relationship?! I have two sisters but I don’t read a lot of books where there’s a good representation of what it’s like. This was perfect. The ups and downs of sisterhood and I could relate to every single one.
The other thing I love about this author is how much diversity there is in her writing. The main character is Jewish, has two moms, is overweight, and has a history of anxiety. The anxiety medication is talked about, it affects her life, her ability to drink at parties, but isn’t the center of the story. There’s also a pansexual who is also Korean-American, there are multiple lesbian characters, bisexual and gay characters. And I didn’t even cover all of her diversity. For the record, SIMON speaks a similar language in diversity.
I could go on a lot more but the thing is, I don’t want to give away how amazing this book is. I went in blind and grinned from the beginning to the end. I want you to be able to do the same. So do it. Go read a book folks, and make it this one.
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