Rating: 4 OWLS
Becky Albertalli’s sophomore novel is everything you could hope and wish for and then some. The Upside of Unrequited is an uplifting young adult novel, a quick, fun, and heartwarming read that tackles some very important issues in an easy, natural way.
If you are familiar with Becky Albertalli’s debut novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (side note: if you are not, what are you waiting for??? Your life will exponentially improve by reading it) you know that her books tend to be very much character driven. The Upside of Unrequited is wonderfully diverse in a natural way. There is religious, sexual orientation, race, and so much more diversity that it will blow your mind. And guess what?? It is not the focus of the book!!! This is entirely a Molly centered book and everything else is just there in a natural way. I don’t know how Becky Albertalli manages, but all her characters are extremely well developed so that by the end you are completely emotionally committed to their happiness. She developed beautiful friendships that left me awed. I found myself quickly attached to most of the characters and I wanted to know what happened to them in the end, which Albertalli managed to deliver flawlessly.
One thing that stood out to me more than anything else was the normalization of prescription medicine for mental illness. I feel like there is such a stigma surrounding the topic that it was utterly refreshing seeing Molly’s casual mentions of her anxiety medication.
Another thing that I tend to really enjoy in Becky’s books is the family relationships. We need more books with positively portrayed parents and even more importantly present parents (I mean seriously, where are the parents in 97% of books???). Patty and Nadine were the absolute perfect moms!!!! I loved them to pieces.
The Upside of Unrequited was an insanely fun read that tackled very realistic struggles in a non-preachy way. Becky is an incredible storyteller and I am looking forward to reading more from her. She is an auto-preorder author for me because I know that I will not be disappointed. Her new book, Leah on the Offbeat will be released on April 24 and I cannot wait to devour it!