Welcome back, BOOKDRAGONS! Today’s book blurb is going to be about a book that circles around the book community for more than a year now and I finally gave up, I conformed and I read it!
“The Upside of Unrequited” by Becky Abertalli tells the story of Molly /hey, it even rhymes!/ – a 17-year-old girl who never had a boyfriend. What she had were 26 crushes. Her sister Cassy is more outgoing than here and not only that she had boyfriends but she also starts dating her first girlfriend – Nina. This leads to series of events where Molly has to face a lot more girl-boy situations than ever before. Eventually and predictably, two boys are “fighting” for her interest and she needs to figure out which one she truly likes.
Now, I have to start by saying that I’m completely aware how far off the target audience of this book I am. That is why many of the things I found in it that I didn’t relate to, are not going to affect my review.
First, this book screams diversity. We have overweight white main character Molly with a queer sister Cassy, raised by Jewish same-sex couple – Nadine and Paddy, one of which is black and a black baby brother Xander. There are a lot of moments where sexuality, acceptance, race, and weight insecurities are mentioned but they are never at the center. That is probably because they are not the point of the book; they are just there – normal things in life just like the blue sky. The characters are as comfortable with them as it should be.
Second, the main topic – crushes, is presented in a beautiful and yet funny way. Personally, I don’t feel that way about crushes anymore, which may have something to do with the fact that I’m 28 years old. However, if the 15-year-old me read this book, I’ll bet she will like it a lot. The descriptions of how it feels like when you think about your crush or when you are with them, what you think about sex and all the anxiety that it brings to the table and how easy it is to go from happy to jealous and angry when you are a teen were done very well and I enjoyed them a lot.
One more plus was the main character Molly, who is very relatable and I never got tired or agitated listening to her. She is honest, naïve and sensitive young girl who is trying to learn how to handle family and relationships at a time in her life that changes a lot and you’re not sure who you are and where you’re going. A very well-rounded character in my opinion.
HOW MANY DRAGONS?
🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲
Even though the ending and quite frankly a lot of the middle of the book was predictable, the tone of the author still kept going and I don’t regret giving this book a try. I’m giving it 5 DRAGONS, which is not bad. The downfall is that I wasn’t able to connect with it so much and also that romantic YA novels have now proven yet again not to be my cup of tea.
I am interested to hear what you guys thought of it, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. See you next time and till then I’ll leave you with my video. Keep on reading!