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The Upside of Unrequited Hardcover – April 11, 2017
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’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.” (SLJ (starred review))
“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')
’A funny, relatable novel that’s filled with well-rounded, diverse characters.” Best Books of the Month (Brightly.com)
About the Author
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Every aspect of this story is wonderful, but I'm going to discuss my favorite pieces below:
1. The use of the word "fat." Throughout the novel, very rarely does Molly refer to herself as "chubby" or "curvy" or other euphemisms that people use to very obviously circumvent the word fat. The word is not weaponized against her (except for one instance but that guy sucks); it's just a fact.
2. The normalization of taking medication. This means so much, as taking medicine for mental illnesses is still very widely stigmatized. It's still very hush-hush, don't let the outside world know, in media and society. But Molly's casual references to taking her anti-anxiety medication is a large step towards making it a normal, every day thing.
3a. Queer identity was a vital part of this story, and it was treated with the love, tenderness, and respect that it deserves. In the very first chapter, we find out that Molly's twin sister is queer and they have two moms. A couple chapters later, we find out another character is pansexual. Simon of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda makes a few brief appearances, and his boyfriend is so casually mentioned. Towards the end of the novel, another character introduces Molly to his boyfriend and it fazes no one. Nowhere in this novel is anyone shamed for being queer (the one homophobic character is specifically called homophobic and everyone just generally doesn't take her nonsense), because being queer is just a part of who they are.
3b. The use of actual queer terminology was a pleasant and welcome surprise. The words asexual, pansexual, and bisexual are all used on page! (I loved all instances but my favorite was Molly thinking "obviously asexuals exist" because people either tend to forget we do, or they ridicule us for it.)
4. Everyone in this book is incredibly sex positive and I love it. They unabashedly talk about genitalia, orgasms, and sex. No one is shamed for having sex, and no one is shamed for not having sex. And I appreciated that Molly and the LI don't have sex since they get together so late in the story; it would have felt incredibly rushed and out of character.
5a. All the women are everything. They're shown as a spectrum--kind, loving, unlikable, surly, sarcastic, considerate, jealous, scared, anxious, happy. They're all allowed to have depth; none of them are one dimensional or flat. I love when female characters are shown to have multiple facets of their personality because it's so accurate to real life.
5b. The different kinds of relationships among the women were also incredible, and I loved how well they showed that there's different kinds of relationships with different people, even within the same friend group or family.
6. I'm not Jewish myself, but I adore how unreservedly Jewish this book and its characters are. Too often in media, Jewish people are depicted in unpleasant and discriminatory ways due to inherent antisemitism. We need so many more books, movies, tv shows, etc. where Jewish characters are allowed to be themselves, practice their religion without censure or discrimination. And we especially need this in the current state of the United States and wider world.
To summarize my feelings: This book is everything. It's the fat positive, queer inclusive, fun, real story that I've been dying for. I cannot wait for this book to be out in the world so more people can get their hands on it, because people of all ages need to read this book, especially my fat babes.