Over the holidays I delved into some fun reading catch up and as you might have already noticed based on my two previous reviews, I sought out the Simonverse books from Becky Albertalli. I did accidentally read the books out of order and wound up reading Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and then Leah On The Offbeat before I read The Upside of Unrequited. Reading them out of order isn’t a huge deal, but Upside is set as the second book and there are references that happen in it and Leah that very clearly show that. Even though I read them out of order I still really enjoyed this book and the characters Albertalli created outside of the more main world of Simon and his friend.
Molly and her twin sister Cassie have always been close, but after Molly winds up segueing a request for toilet paper in a club into a set up things in her life seem to shift. Her sister is falling for Mina, the girl Molly saved from a bathroom disaster, and Molly feels like she’s being replaced. Cassie insists that this will work perfectly because she is very sure Molly is crushing on one of Mina’s friends. This particular guy is part of a very impressive list of crushes that starts the book at 26. While she has had lots of crushes over the years, Molly just can’t ever seem to bring herself to start a relationship. She always feels awkward around guys, that is until she starts her summer job. Reid is a nerdy guy with a love for Tolkein and Game of Thrones and while they don’t really have those interests in common Molly starts wondering if she could be crushing on Reid.
For those of you trying to figure out how these characters connect into Albertalli’s Simonverse, Molly and Cassie are Abby Suso’s cousins and Abby even makes periodic appearances along with Simon and Nick. What I loved most about The Upside of Unrequited was Molly and her family. This was the first time I had read a book that focused on a family with two moms and three children who were all carried by the moms. Their family unit is so close knit and they love each other so much. Even when there are fights or disagreements there is just so much love there. I also really like the friendship between Molly and Reid that evolves over the course of the book. They indulge in some fun and goofy activities, including a very fun grocery shopping game. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the moments in the book that made me chuckle. Same sex marriage is legalized within the timeline of this book and Molly’s moms are able to get married. During the wedding festivities Cassie announces that their grandma, who has not filter, has announced that her daughter Patty, who is bisexual, will become a lesbian when she gets married to Nadine and that she tried to tell her that wasn’t how that worked. I loved this nod to bisexual identities and how no matter who a person is with they still maintain that identity. You can find The Upside of Unrequited on sale wherever books are sold.
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