To get on my auto-buy list usually an author has to have a back-list of at least a few books that I’ve loved. Has to be one that just never lets me down like Julie James. Nalini Singh. Sarina Bowen…obviously my chosen genre is romance lol. But Becky Albertalli got on that list for me with Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda which was funny, moving, and has stuck with me ever since. One book! That’s impressive! So I waited for my book friends to get their act together so we could have an epic group read of Upside…and it was fantastic, to say the least.
Three of us read Upside together and pretty much immediately from the first chapter we were messaging each other arguing over exactly who was Molly, the main character. How does Becky Albertalli do that?!? The three of us are pretty different, have different backgrounds, live in different parts of the country, different lifestyles – and yet the entire book was spent discussing how much Molly was like each of us for x reason. That completely blew me away and really captures why this author is so special – she manages to get to the essence of the teenage experience so that everyone can not only relate to but say OMG THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE!
And suddenly, I feel like crying, but not in a bad way. More like in the way you feel when someone gives you a perfect present—something you’d been wanting, but thought you couldn’t ask for. It’s that feeling of someone knowing you in all the ways you needed to be known.
Molly spends the book feeling less than. And wanting what other people have. All the while feeling like she could ever have that because no one would ever want her. This broke my heart and made me want every single teenage girl to read this because I think that it could help them see that *everyone* feels like this.
It’s funny, because you always think the hard part is meeting someone the first time. It’s not. It’s the second time, because you’ve already used up all the obvious topics of conversation. And even if you haven’t, it’s strange and heavy-handed to introduce random conversational topics at this stage in the game. Hi, Reid. Let’s converse about topics. HOW MANY SIBLINGS DO YOU HAVE? WHAT BOOKS DO YOU LIKE?
Personally having a plus-size main heroine who is pretty much awesome is amazing and something that we all need more of. I could have used that when I was a teenager and I just want to go to every high school now and say READ THIS. I also want to go back in time and give this to myself and say learn these lessons NOW.
I loved everything about this book. Seriously, everything. The side characters were amazing. Even the ones who weren’t on the page all that often felt completely fleshed out and as if they could have their own full book. I could easily read a book about Olivia or Will. The love interest…Reid. I loved Reid. I swear I married a guy like Reid. Do yourself a favor and read this book sooner rather than later and then put this author on your auto-buy list! I’m so glad I found her so early in her career.
Rating: ALL THE STARS!!!
Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Release Date: April 11, 2017