The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited

Book - 2017 | First edition
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Avoiding relationships to protect her sensitive heart, plus-sized Molly supports her once-cynical twin, Cassie, when the latter has her own bout of lovesickness, a situation that is complicated by sibling dynamics and an unexpected romantic triangle.
Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062348708 (hbk.)
0062348701 (hbk.)
9780062348715 (trade pbk.)
Branch Call Number: Y ALBERTALLI
Characteristics: 340 pages ; 22 cm


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From Library Staff

Avoiding relationships to protect her sensitive heart, plus-sized Molly supports her twin, Cassie when Cassie has her own bout of lovesickness that results in a situation that is complicated by sibling dynamics and an unexpected romantic triangle.

As a fat girl, seventeen-year-old Molly is cautious about her crushes until her twin sister falls for a girl who hangs out with an attractive hipster boy. Molly's relationship with him is complicated by her quirky coworker, Reid.

The Upside of Unrequited was the second book I ever read where the fat girl gets her happy ending. Cheeky, heartfelt, and full of humor.

Love, including the unrequited kind. In the "Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda" universe, but not a direct sequel.

KCLSRacheal Jun 22, 2017

Molly's always been different from her thin, confident twin sister, but up until now they've always been thick as thieves. As her sister's love life ramps up Molly's feeling the pressure to turn her 27th crush into a real relationship and start feeling like less of a third wheel. Full of humor an... Read More »

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SAPL_Teens Oct 16, 2020

The Upside of Unrequited is a charming and heartfelt novel. It’s another smash hit, from a down to earth author. I really fell in love with the main character Molly Peskin-Suso, and all her quirks. The novel starts with Molly and her twin sister, Cassie, meeting this new girl called Mina. Along with her they met Will and Max, who are good friends with Mina. With meeting these new people, Molly’s whole life is about to change. They come home to their loving moms, Patty and Nadine, and their cute younger brother Xavier. The next day, Molly starts her new job at her favourite shop. One of her coworkers is the calm and cool Reid. And on their first meeting, they become fast friends as well. The more that Molly gets to know Will, Reid, Mina, and Max, the more challenges she faces. Like to growing bond between Cassie and Mina that seems to spreed them apart bit by bit. And her moms wedding that’s creeping ever closer day by day. As her developing feelings come to light, she will finally decide want she wants for herself. I absolutely adore this book. All the characters were quirky and unique. I really liked how she portrayed Molly as a realistic 17 year old girl. The author did an amazing job! 5/5 stars - Maade, SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

Jul 07, 2020

It was a nice book to read, but I feel like Molly spent way too much time thinking about boys, whereas she barely cared about other major events in her life such as college, planning out her career, etc. A common trend in YA Romance novels is that the lives of the female protagonists revolve around boys, and that doesn’t seem realistic or ideal to me. However, the characters were diverse, and I was engaged in this book. I also appreciated how the author addressed an insecurity that many people face, (which is struggling to feel comfortable with their weight).

Such a relatable read! I wanted to be Molly's friend-I wished I could keep hearing her thoughts and learn more about her life once the book was over.


The Upside of Unrequited immediately transports you into the world of hopelessly romantic Molly. Molly has had twenty-six crushes, all of which have gone up in smoke because Molly refuses to express her feelings in fear of risking rejection. All that changes when her twin sister gets a new girlfriend, who happens to be good friends with a cute boy that possibly likes Molly back. Molly thinks she should be overjoyed, but she soon comes to realize that she instead has developed feelings for her adorably dorky coworker, Reid. This book was an entertaining portrait of unrequited love and was extremely funny. The thing I liked most about this book were the characters as they seemed to come alive on the pages. They were described so well that at the end of the book, I felt like the characters were real people. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read about a relatable subject that will get you laughing out loud. This book captures romantic hardships perfectly. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this book a well-deserved 4.5. Milla, grade 7, Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

TSCPL_Miranda Feb 11, 2019

I just love everything that Becky Albertalli writes! Molly's voice is hilarious and vulnerable, and yet again I found myself wishing one of Albertalli's characters could be my best friend. The book contains a diverse cast of characters, but it's not at all forced. This story was a joy to read, and I'm sorry that it's over.

PimaLib_ChristineR Jul 07, 2018

This is what I think of as straight teen-girl YA. Molly thinks of herself as the "fat" girl who would rather have silent crushes than be outright crushed by rejection. She thinks everyone around her is much more experienced than her. She misses the clues that everyone else might just be faking it too. While Molly spends a lot of time thinking about her crushes, the real catalyst for the story is her twin sister becoming involved with her own love life and Molly feels left behind.

I've read reviews that knock this as "fat girl feels better when cute boy likes her" but I'd say that's a really narrow read of what happens with Molly. First, this is from Molly's perspective. She's the one calling herself "fat" but we don't actually know how the other characters interpret her. In fact, from what we are shown, it seems like people think Molly is an amazing DIYer, and good at conversation. She is the one who introduces her sister to the girl Molly thinks will be perfect for her. She is the one who has two boys quite interested in her. It's more what she chooses to believe. So I don't see this as the "fat girl being saved" but as the young girl realizing that not only is she not left behind, but the people who count, including her family, have been admiring her all along.

I would be surprised if there wasn't a high school girl out there who can't identify with Molly on some level, and that's Abertalli's specialty, taking the ordinary angst of being a teenager, and turning it into something affirming for her characters and her readers.

ArapahoeSusanW Jun 06, 2018

I'm obviously in the minority here but I just couldn't really warm up to this novel despite the reassuring theme that it's okay to be a late bloomer. The characters just weren't compelling especially twin sister Cassie. Maybe I'm jaded having read a number of YA novels that transcended the genre but this one just seemed like standard YA fare with a few LBGT characters thrown in.

ArapahoeTiegan May 24, 2018

I LOVED Molly! They way Albertalli portrays Molly is so relatable - Molly is just a young girl trying to figure herself out. She has insecurities about her body, many crushes on boys she believes could never like her back, she fights with her moms and her twin sister, and has to navigate the changes in her relationship with her sister as Cassie gets her first girlfriend. Molly also gets a job for the summer and meets a boy she can be herself around, but believes she has no feelings for him. As she finds herself thinking about him more and more and wanting to talk to him all the time, Molly starts to realize she might have been wrong.

The writing was so spectacular for all of these characters and I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times at how Albertalli can turn a phrase. This was such a cute story about first serious relationships and the ways in which families navigate the changes those relationships bring.

Jan 22, 2018

While I didn’t like this quite as much as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I still thought this was another great Becky Albertalli book about growing up and finding your identity. Molly is a relatable character with insecurities and unrequited crushes, but she’s also very self-aware and productive. While Molly has crushes and potential boyfriends, the most well drawn relationship is between Molly and her twin sister, Cassie. When Cassie gets a girlfriend, Molly suddenly feels a distance between them that hadn’t been there before. My only complaint is that it drove me crazy that Molly and Cassie call their mothers by their first names. It’s also worth noting that Simon and Abby from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda make cameos.

Dec 19, 2017

This story is about a teenager named Molly, who has had twenty-six crushes, but has never had a boyfriend before. Definetely a novel for romance lovers, Molly and her twin, Cassie, struggle with falling in love for the first time and coming to terms with changes in their life. This story has many positive points to it, such as it's LGBTQ+ characters, diversity of religion, and it's amazing portrayal of healthy relationships, both in romance, friendship, and family. Molly is a character a lot of teenagers (and adults) can relate to. She's often mocked about her body weight, and struggles to feel secure in the thought that any male would ever return her feelings. When she meets Will, a funny and flirty hipster, and Reid, a geek she can't help but feel comfortable around, Molly is forced to face her feelings and push herself to take risks she never could have imagined. The Upside of Unrequited is a rather calm story, and one I often read before bed. It's an enjoyable read, that caused me to smile, or had me shaking my head at the actions of the characters. The writing is good, and the characters are interesting, with realistic connections to each other. I recommend this story to romance lovers, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, who deserve to see themselves represented in these kinds of novels. While I definetely enjoyed this story, and would tell others to read it, it didn't make it to my favorites lists because it fell under a lot of cliches and didn't really stand out or surprise me. Despite this, I would say it was worth the time to read, and I liked the positive messages and diverse cast enough to consider it a really good novel in the end. 4/5 -@Reaper of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
This YA fiction was a breath of fresh air. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, nor did I expect to be intrigued, but Becky Albertalli created characters, plotlines and emotions that captured my attention! I also must applaud her on creating what seems like a normal and overrated topic and transforming it into such a novel! Molly has always known to be careful, because fat girls need to be careful. Her twin sister, Cassie, never has these problems and tells Molly consistently to “woman up”. But Molly knows better and remains hidden within the folds of her heart that have reached out to 26 different people. Everything changes, though, when Cassie finds someone new and leaves Molly feeling more alone than ever. She sees chances in every corner, and just when she thinks she has found a way to finally find love… she realizes sometimes even the best people cannot find the best in others. This book worked quite well for me. I appreciated how the author refused to allow the love triangle to obscure the main ideas of this book, but also managed to implement it into Molly’s character. Not only was this a book of Molly’s coming-of-age but also the importance of family. Molly and Cassie’s relationship definitely hit turmoils during the chapters but wrapped up in a way that benefits the reader and reminded me that where there is happiness, there is family. (Rating 4/5)
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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May 02, 2017

Molly Peskin-Suso is the queen of unrequited love. At seventeen, she has had twenty-six crushes, but zero boyfriends. She hasn’t even been kissed. By contrast, Molly’s twin sister Cassie has an easy confidence when it comes to hooking up with girls, and she always tells Molly everything. But then Mina arrives on the scene, and for the first time ever, Cassie is totally crushed out, and a little bit secretive, leaving Molly out in the cold. But Mina has a cute best friend named Will, and Molly might not feel so left out if he was her boyfriend. So why can’t Molly stop thinking about her nerdy co-worker, Reid?


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May 02, 2017

There’s this feeling I get when I watch other people kiss. I become a different form of matter. Like they’re water, and I’m an ice cube. Like I’m the most alone person in the entire world.


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