on April 11, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Upside of The Upside of Unrequited was one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was maybe one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. However, it wasn’t an easy read or a comfortable read. I saw myself in Molly so much. I was Molly growing up. Maybe a lot of me still is. It was painful and difficult to see so much of my high school experience laid out on the page. Especially when it wasn’t particularly happy.
Molly is fat. She is mistreated by her peers because of it. Molly and I were the same down to our humiliations. In the story, there was a particular incident in the lunchroom that causes Molly anxiety and her sister rage. I won’t spoil what Molly’s was but I will tell you mine. They are very similar and it breaks my heart that it still happens today. One particular way my peers bullied me was to call out numbers when I walked. If I ran or jumped the numbers got higher. After a day or two someone enlightened me to the fact that they were predicting the score of the earthquake I was causing on the Richter scale.
People online have reviewed Molly as desperate or this book as a Fat girl loses weight and finds love book, but that isn’t it at all. Everywhere we turn, girls are told that they should love themselves for who they are but also that they aren’t loveable if they aren’t thin. Fat people don’t deserve love and affection and they shouldn’t hope to find any until they lose the weight.
Everything Molly felt was just like my heart was on the page. This was true in her feelings about her weight and her feelings about romance. When I was that age, I ached for romance in my life but at the same time I didn’t feel like I deserved it. MOLLY DOESN’T LOSE ANY WEIGHT. She doesn’t even try. It’s not even about her weight because she loves herself the way she is. She wants other people to get with the program and I loved her for it.
This book was complex and perfect. I loved how Molly struggled with herself too. She both wants a special romance all her own and also is afraid it will never happen for her. She’s scared to hope and frightened that she doesn’t deserve it.
This book is for every girl out there who has miserably watched her friends shop for hours in a store where nothing fit.