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The Upside of Unrequited Hardcover – April 11, 2017
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Growing up can mean growing apart, which is a hard revelation for twins Cassie and Molly Peskin-Suso. When Cassie, who is a lesbian, begins dating Mina, a pansexual Korean American, Molly feels a little cast aside. Molly, who has an anxiety disorder, has silently nursed 26 crushes and is working on finally risking the rejection she fears and starting to date. Cassie wants Molly to hook up with Mina's best friend, Will, but Molly might be more interested in sweet and endearingly geeky Reid. While the girls are navigating these new worlds of romance, things don't slow down in other parts of their lives. Cassie and Molly's moms are finally getting married, so there's a wedding to plan, much to the delight of Pinterest-savvy Molly; plus there are jobs, friends, and a busy baby brother. Molly, Cassie, and all of the secondary characters are well-developed and distinctive. The outspoken girls have honest, humorous, and sometimes awkward conversations with each other, their friends, and their supportive and loving moms about relationships and growing up. Albertalli's keen ear for authentic teen voices will instantly make readers feel that they are a part of Cassie and Molly's world, filled with rich diversity (Cassie and Molly's family is Jewish and interracial), love, support, and a little heartache. In the satisfying conclusion, Molly and Cassie learn that letting new people into their lives does not have to mean shutting out others. VERDICT Readers will fall in love with this fresh, honest, inclusive look at dating, families, and friendship. A top purchase for all YA collections.—Amanda MacGregor, formerly at Great River Regional Library, Saint Cloud, MN
’If you’re in the mood for a snappy romance to vicariously bathe you in the pain and elation of first love, Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited provides.” (NPR.org)
“While first kisses, first loves, and even first sexual experiences have all been dealt with in some form or another, she tackles these big milestones head-on and with aplomb.” (Entertainment Weekly)
★ “Readers will fall in love with this fresh, honest, inclusive look at dating, families, and friendship. A top purchase for all YA collections.” ( )
“In her second, relationship-rich novel, Albertalli’s take on the agonies and ecstasies of adolescent love are spot-on.” (ALA Booklist)
“Heart-fluttering, honest, and hilarious. I can’t stop hugging this book.” (Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS)
“I have such a crush on this book! Not only is this one a must read, but it’s a must re-read.” (Julie Murphy, New York Times bestselling author of DUMPLIN')
“This book is absolutely adorable and has so much diversity! I fail to see how anyone cannot love this book and its characters.” A Best Book of 2017 (Brightly)
Top customer reviews
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So what is this book actually about? It's a beautiful story of how our relationships change as we grow up. Yes, there are Young Adult Relationships here, but the real relationship is between Molly and Cassie. As twins, they've always been close but they are at a turning point as they start to differentiate from each other and find their own ways. It's bittersweet and authentic, and something with which everyone, even non-twins, can sympathize.
Molly is a complex but realistic character. She isn't wholly likable, but what seventeen year old is? She struggles with her circumstances, her emotions, and her anxiety and it is all painfully true. But she also grows as the story progresses, and does so in a way that makes sense. At no point did I ever feel like her transformation skipped a step or went a direction it shouldn't.
The romance feature of this book is well-done and satisfying. Albertalli expertly captures Molly's angst, not only with her desire to be in a relationship, but also watching her twin sister forge ahead with her own relationship. I'm not sure how accurate the depiction of modern teen life is (because I'm old, um, older) but I didn't feel as though I needed to question it.
Another feature that I loved about this book is that it is set during the summer of 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. While it was heartwarming to read of Molly's moms finally being able to get married, what really got me was that feeling of a world where things were more optimistic and inclusive. I call this the Obama-feels and this book had it spades....and I really need that right now.
This book was such a delight that I feel like I should buy a bunch of copies just to hand out to everyone. I hadn't heard of Becky Albertalli before this, but I will definitely be reading her books in the future.