Molly Peskin-Suso has had 26 crushes, but never a boyfriend. Not even a kiss. She’s just never felt ready to put herself out there. But during her 17th summer, her twin sister, Cassie, falls head over heels for the girl of her dreams, their moms are finally allowed to marry, and not one, but two boys take an interest in Molly. Love, it seems, is all around. But will these new relationships change things between Molly and Cassie? Will Molly be able to take the risk?
Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, has a knack for capturing the all-encompassing emotions of adolescence, and her talents are on full display in The Upside of Unrequited. In a moment when Molly is feeling particularly low, her mother notes that being 17 feels like both the end and the beginning of the world. This becomes a mantra that sets the tone for the book, as Albertalli’s characters revel in the ups and downs of friendship and first love.
The Peskin-Suso twins and their friends are a lovable, diverse group of talented teens, made relatable by the fact that each is rife with his or her own insecurities about growing up and fitting in. The characters’ authentic voices will feel intimately familiar to teen readers and will catapult older readers back to their high school days.