52 Weeks, 52 Books: Week 19

The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli // I stayed up WAY too late finishing this...

I love reading young adult fiction. When I was a teen, it didn't feel like there were that many good books for teenagers; I remember going from the children's department of my local library straight into the adult section. But when I graduated from college and started reading for pleasure again, in earnest, I discovered how much I loved what was happening in the young adult lit scene. And I've never stopped reading young adult fiction since then. This title, The Upside of Unrequited, is one of many YA books I've read this year, but it's definitely my favorite of 2017 (so far! Still three more reading months to go...).

The main character in this book, Molly, is a fat girl who likes boys. Crushes on boys. A LOT. But those crushes have always gone unrequited. The book revolves around what happens when your crush ISN'T necessarily unrequited...or is it? It's confusing! I really liked Molly's confusion and worry, because it felt real to me. But here's what I really LOVED about the book: Molly was treated as a whole human being; she wasn't just a fat character. Her arc wasn't about being fat, though she did think about it and spend time on it, which strikes me as just right. Her longing to be loved and desired felt just right--felt the way I remember it feeling when I was 17 and longing for the same thing. And I don't know about being a twin (which Molly is), or the daughter of gay moms (which Molly also is), but those storylines also seemed to be handled just beautifully.

Molly's story was compelling, in fact, that I blew past my bedtime finishing it. (What? Librarians have bedtimes. We have to be bright-eyed and ready to answer questions early in the morning.) WAY past my bedtime. But I didn't regret it at all, because learning how Molly's story ended was worth the fatigue the next morning. If you too like contemporary young adult novels, I don't think you'll regret picking this up either. Click here to place on hold.

--Ang

Created by Ang Romano on Oct 4th, 2017 @ 1:24 PM.
Updated on Oct 4th, 2017 @ 2:04 PM.