Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Summary: Seventeen-year old Molly knows about unrequited love: she’s had 26 crushes in her life and none of them have formed into relationships. While her sister, Cassie, tells her to go for it and even face rejection, Molly feels that she has to be careful. Meanwhile,  Cassie has become completely lovesick for the first time ever, and her new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick, Will. Will seems to be the perfect crush material, and Cassie and Molly have always talked about dating best friends, right? So why does Molly keep thinking about her Tolkien-loving coworker, Reid?

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


My Thoughts:

I read The Upside of Unrequited in less than 2 days (and yes, I made sure all of my homework was done), and let me tell you it is the perfect binge/weekend read because you will not want to part with it. I admit that I loved this book even more than Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because MOLLY WAS JUST SO FREAKING RELATABLE (NOT TO MENTION THAT REID IS NOW THE MOST RECENT MEMBER OF MY BOOK BOYFRIEND SQUAD). But for my Simon lovers (who I of course love as well), there are so many Simon character cameos!

Let’s first talk about our main character, Molly, who has quickly become one of my favorite female protagonists in YA. I feel like she is a really relatable character for readers who may have not been in a relationship before, and even though I have dated before, I could really relate to Molly’s anxiety over forming relationships. Another favorite aspect? Molly is not skinny. While her grandma gives her some problems about it, Molly is plus-size and for the most part, she embraces it and I love her sense of style—dresses and tights forever please! Additionally, Molly influenced me to rediscover my love for Pinterest (can we have a sequel set a few years in the future featuring Molly as an interior designer or wedding planner?). With her love for design and baking (!!!), she really reminded me of Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before—I hope this is enough to get you running to the bookstore or the library.

The Upside of Unrequited has a phenomenal, diverse cast: for example, Molly and Cassie have two mothers, Cassie is queer, Mina is Korean-American and pansexual, and Molly’s town seems to really embrace the LGBTQ community. The best part? This diversity didn’t feel forced at all, it just felt so natural! There’s no ‘omg you’re gay’ or ‘omg you have two moms’ moment. I loved Molly’s family, and I discovered one of my new all-time favorite book quotes in a big family moment:

“ “I get this hot chocolate feeling in my stomach – cozy and content. I love this day and I love this job”” (89).

I was rooting for Reid from the moment that we meet him in Bissel-why can’t I have a job in this store? C’mon guys, he loves Mini Cadbury eggs, he cares about his shoes, he’s an insanely hilarious texter, and he has such a caring, nerdy heart! My heart squealed to no end when he insists on bringing Molly to the grocery store to get the best ingredients for her edible cookie dough. What else do you need in a guy?? I also liked that him and Molly were on the same level, in the sense that they both on the same page about the speed of their relationship and what they were each comfortable with.

And while I loved The Upside Down of Unrequited’s cast of characters, there was one particular character who drove Molly and I up a wall: Cassie. I understand that Molly begins to realize that her and Cassie may not always be super close, and I guess someone had to play the antagonist, BUT CASSIE WAS SO FRUSTRATING. I liked Cassie for her ballsy personality and her closeness with Molly, but I disliked how she tended to put the blame on Molly when they argued (which Molly thankfully recognized) and how she didn’t see the nonexistent chemistry between Will and Molly. I just found her to be really selfish at times, but like I said, this was probably on purpose to show how siblings may grow apart, and yes, Cassie does recognize her faults. HOWEVER, there is just one line from Cassie that I cannot let go (I care about Molly too much, okay??):

“ “You know I’d never laugh at you about Mina, right?”

“No, I know. It’s just.” She shuts her eyes. “Like, I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a dick, but, like, maybe it’s one of those things you’re not going to understand until you get a boyfriend.”” (124)



Overall, The Upside Down of Unrequited is a cozy read with a super diverse and heartfelt cast, growing up, and plenty of love. I cannot wait until Leaf on the Offbeat comes out this April (please let there be a Molly & Reid cameo, please let there be a Molly & Reid cameo).

Have you read The Upside Down of Unrequited? HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR LOVE, SIMON TO COME OUT IN MARCH? Share in the comments!

What I Read in May

May was an absolutely fantastic reading month for me! Since I read 10 books this month, I kept my thoughts short and sweet, going from my least favorite read to my favorite read of the month.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs // 2/5 Stars

Even though this is a YA novel and the main characters are teenagers, Nemesis felt more like a middle grade to me. While the premise was exciting and had some Lord of the Flies vibes, the plot and characters just didn’t deliver for me.

The Cabin by Natasha Preston // 2/5 Stars

My sister loves Natasha Preston’s books, so I typically read them alongside her. I was unfortunately very disappointed, as The Cabin’s premise was exciting, but the story itself didn’t have any sort of spark and was WAY too long– it took us forever to get to some sort of “solution”

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // 3.75/5 Stars

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy ADSOM as much as I thought I would, being head-over-heels for Schwab’s This Savage Song and Vicious. I thought that the plot was a bit predictable and unexciting at times, however, I plan on picking up the next book soon!

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith // 4/5 Stars

While Windfall was over 400 pages long, it was a pretty quick read for me. I found it to be a little tropey and I didn’t completely enjoy the romance. I loved Leo and seeing Alice’s journey outside her relationship with Teddy. I teared up when she reflects on her parents’ lives with her uncle.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // 4/5 Stars

I finally read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and really enjoyed it! There’s a dog and Oreos!! I have a full review here.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston // 4.5 Stars

Geekerella was the fandom+fairytale novel that I didn’t know I needed until I started reading. My full review can be found on Fangirl Fury here.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr // 4.75/5 Stars

The One Memory of Flora Banks took me by surprise, as it was one of my favorite reads of May. My review can be found here.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas // 4.5/5 Stars

One of my most anticipated reads of 2017 finally delivered this month. I have a full review of ACOWAR here, including a mini conflicted rant about there being more books in the ACOTAR world.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // 5/5 Stars

My only 5/5 Star read of the month, Radio Silence was the type of book that I just fell into. There’s Tumblr and Youtube and fanart and friendship and family and school all rolled into one perfect contemporary read.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord // 5/5 Stars

From the moment I started The Names They Gave Us, I was hooked. Emery Lord’s latest release about family, friendship, religion, and grief was an emotion-filled story rolled into a summer contemporary. I have a full review here.

What did you read in May? Share in the comments below!

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Summary: Sixteen-year old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier enjoys participating in the school musical and emailing with Blue, the pen name of another not-so-openly gay guy at Simon’s school. But when class clown Martin comes across Simon’s emails, Martin blackmails Simon into helping him date one of their friends. If Simon doesn’t play wingman, Martin will reveal Simon’s sexual identity and his emails with Blue. Filled with humor, love, and suspense, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda follows Simon and his friends’ suddenly complicated junior year.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts: **Warning: there are spoilers for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda below**

 I admit, it took me a while to pick up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because I was a bit scared by all the hype surrounding the book. I wasn’t totally sold by the premise of the novel, and I didn’t want to be the one person not to like this book. However, I’ve been really interested in Becky Albertalli’s latest release The Upside of Unrequited, and while you don’t need to read Simon to read Upside, there’s apparently a Simon reference in the newer release. Despite my fear of not liking Simon, I ended up really enjoying the book and read it within two days!

I loved how Martin’s blackmailing started on the very first page of the book because we jumped right into the plot. We didn’t need the first two chapters or so just to set up Simon’s life, rather we learned about our main character as he faced his dilemma. I figured that it would have been too predictable to have Martin be Blue, and as much as I loved the idea of Cal and Simon together, it just would have been too convenient. I actually predicted Bram as Blue about halfway into the novel, after Simon learned that Blue was Jewish (Abraham is a traditionally Jewish name).

I also enjoyed reading about Simon’s family and friends. I loved how close Simon’s family is, and it makes me sad that Simon was nervous about coming out to them, as they were totally supportive of him no matter what. I loved his friendship with Nick and Leah because they were all just so comfortable with one another, playing videogames with Bieber in Nick’s basement. One of my few ‘disappointments’ about the novel was the lack of Oreos! Whenever people talk about Becky Albertalli or her books, Oreos almost always become a topic of conversation. Yes, Oreos were in the novel (and on the cover), but there just wasn’t an abundance. I wanted Blue/Bram to show up with a bouquet full of Oreos for Simon, but in the end, I wouldn’t expect Nabisco to become the sponsor of the novel.

I’m looking forward to the Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda film adaption (even though I’m sad that it’s not coming out until 2018), and Becky Albertalli’s next release, also slated for 2018, will be told from the perspective of Leah and will be the sequel to Simon. I’m really excited for this book as well because Leah was one of my favorite characters in Simon and I wish we had more interaction with her.

Have you read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Share your thoughts in the comments!