Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli


Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Purchased

Chapters | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 stars

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 mean, here’s the thing I don’t get. How do people come to expect that their crushes will be reciprocated? Like, how does that get to be your default assumption?”

The Upside of Unrequited is an absolute must of you are into contemporary. Just like Simon VS., Becky Albertalli captures the magic of what it is to be a teenager and what it is to have your first love. This was a lovely book that I truly adored.

Molly is one of my favourite characters I’ve read in a young adult novel. She is one of the most authentic and relatable characters ever. While I don’t personally relate to many things, I did relate to the anxiety part very well (I’m on meds just like Molly becuase anxiety sucks a lot). I love that it’s just a part of her and wasn’t something that took over her entire character. Molly had flaws and she recognized them and did what she was capable of to work through them. She grew so much from the start of the book to the end and I loved her for it. I do wish I could tell her not to worry so much about having her first kiss. Girl, it ain’t a big deal, I promise.

Reid is the cutest guy ever. He was so comfortable with himself and there’s nothing more wholesome that a character who is so ok with who they are and don’t treat their romantic interest like absolute crap because of it.

One of my favourite things about this book was the diversity of all the charcters. So many amazing kinds of people were represented and it was in the most natural way. It never once felt like Becky Albertalli was trying to squeeze all these people in to fit some quota (because let’s be honest, other authors do that and they try not to make it obvious but it is and it’s the worst because they have no idea what they’re doing and probably should have hired a beta reader). Everything was natural and wonderful and perfectly authentic. Not only that, but they all fit into the story so well. Everyone had their part and everyone was important to advancing the story in some way.

“There’s just something terrifying about admitting you like someone. In a way, it’s actually easier when there’s no chance of anything happening. But there’s this threshold where things suddenly become possible. And then your cards are on the table. And there you are, wanting, right out in the open.”

Becky Albertalli is such an incredible writer. Sometimes when authors write about teens, they either write them too immature or they act way too old than what any teenager would act ever like. But not with Becky Albertalli. Like in Simon VS., she knows how to write teenagers in the most natural way. Her characters are always so fully formed and interesting to read about. They have their positives and their flaws, which they always are so in tune with and make an effort to work through.

The plot was the cutest thing. If there’s anything Becky Albertalli knows how to do, it’s write an original plot that has you smiling like an idiot. I can’t get over how cute Reid and Molly were and how fast I flew through this book because the plot just has you flipping through page after page, needing to know what else was going to happen.

The only minor complaint I have (like literally the smallest thing) was the pacing. Sometimes the story seemed like it was flying by and at other times, scenes felt dragged out. Upside is a very character-driven book and I think because of that sometimes the pacing of the novel suffered a little bit.

Basically, this is a book you should read. Whether or not you read Simon VS., The Upside of Unrequited should be required reading. It’s an authentic young adult novel with such a large amount of diversity and the cutest love story. What more could you ask for?

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Source: Purchased

Chapters | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 stars

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


“As a side note, don’t you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re stright, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

Say hello to my new favourite book. Seriously. There is nothing even slightly average about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It was an extraordinary read.

Everything about this book felt so real. Not once did I ever think, “ok no, this would never happen come on.” Simon’s voice was genuine. It was as if he were an honest to god real person, and not just a fictitious character in a book. I felt like I was a part of his life. Or like he was a part of mine. Like he was one of my closest friends for a moment.

The fact that Simon vs. spanned over a few months made Simon and Blue falling for each other more real. They got to know each other on such an emotional level by only corresponding through emails. The anonymous factor forced them to discuss deeper things that weren’t a part of everyday conversation with friends because they didn’t want the other one to find out who they were.

And the reveal. Oh, the reveal. I did figure out who Blue was going to be based on little hints thrown about between the emails and Simon’s everyday life, but I wasn’t disappointed about that. I’m trying my hardest not to spoil anything, so I’ll just say this. Your heart is going to be so full of happiness and you guys aren’t going to be able to handle the first love adorableness. I’m still having trouble because it was just SO DAMN CUTE.

I love minor characters in books. Especially the ones that dish out really good one-liners and/or shed some much needed perspective. And I love to feel like they belong in the book and that they weren’t just some kind of afterthought (as in “oh shit I need to write more than like three people”). Becky Albertalli mastered this. All of the other characters had some kind of role to play. They each had their own important part in Simon’s life to the point where their friendship felt essential to the story.

I think my favourite thing about Simon vs. was that it was just another example of how universal love is. It doesn’t matter what your sexual identity is, love is love. Period. We all get those crazy butterflies, and that feeling of not being able to stop smiling because that other person is just so damn perfect in every way to us. And I mean, we know this already, but I think it’s important to have books like this written for people who still aren’t as accepting. Books that are so simple and yet so powerful all at the same time.

This book was wonderful and you all need to read it, like, now. Right now. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda should be required reading as a human being. It’s just that lovely.