“The Upside of Unrequited” by Becky Albertalli



I don’t see what was the point of this story. It didn’t flow naturally. An insecure virgin girl with hot twin sister, thinks everybody around her is better looking than her, finally finds a boy. The end. The premise of the book suggested there is going to be a love triangle between Molly, our main character who is dying of loneliness, and two boys: good-looking, hipster Will, who can’t possibly like her, right?, and nerdy Reid, who she can’t possibly like, right? I’m sure you have an idea how it ends.

I know where the story is supposed to go, it’s been done before. Molly should undergo some significant transformation in which she gains self-confidence. Meanwhile, Molly is a self-centred, petty, hypocritical girl with which I could not find a connection. I don’t think she was very realistic as a character, and her personality was simply annoying. All she ever talked about, and frankly what the entire book was about, was the idea that somehow, if Molly finds a boyfriend, all the stars in the universe will align, all evil will be gone and finally, FINALLY, Molly will have all she ever craved and her life would be fulfilled at the age of 17. We learn that Molly is apparently a bit overweight, but is getting a boyfriend really the only way for her to find confidence in herself?

<Sigh> I wish this book focused more on sisterhood and self-development of Molly as well as explore the idea of peer pressure when it comes to the topic of sex and relationships. I wish there was a more clear lesson to learn for young readers from this story, rather than just exploit the idea of a relationship as something to achieve. Instead, the internal monologue of the main character went on and on in circles, limited to that single direction only, which was getting a boy. It wasn’t a very empowering read.

The other thing I didn’t like in this book was all the topics of diversity. Different religions, sexuality, skin colour, ethnicity and many more concepts were just thrown around without a reason. I felt like the author was going through some list of all the concepts she could find and the problem with it was that it wasn’t explored at all, just thrown in for the sake of it. None of the things listed above were developed, no time was spend on it, it wasn’t shown what impact was it meant to have on the story. I think there should be more time spend on it, because if you wanna talk about it, then talk, I’d really like that but explore the ideas to a certain degree, make the reader engage with the topic, stop the reader from feeling like all he/she is doing, is reading printed words from a page.


The book will get 3 stars for me. I think it should get lower rating, but it did contain a couple of powering sentences that I wish the author herself had followed.


“Not like real life, where all the wanting in the world can’t make something exist.” pg 48, ch 4

I also loved the last chapter. It was a weird one because I felt as if it was taken from another book. It had everything I wish the rest of the story had spend more time on, the epilogue involved the topic of sisterhood and of growing apart from people, Molly gained some more self-confidence not thanks to a boy, but thanks to family members who loved her and who helped her realise her self -worth. I may have not liked Molly’s story, but I sure did like where she ended up. Unfortunately, the epilogue of this book, doesn’t make it worth it.

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