The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Becky Albertalli is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
First off, she has a fantastic name, which is completely irrelevant to people not named Becky.
Second, this book was so much fun to read that my face aches from smiling so much.
Third, Simon was one of my favorite 2015 reads, and I didn't think anything new could touch that adorable, huggable book. But I was wrong. This story was so enjoyable and relatable.
Fourth, a lot of YA gets heavy, regardless of genre. Albertalli's books have a way of tackling real issues in a way that's fresh and easy. It doesn't take anything away from the seriousness of a topic, but she also doesn't try to pulverize my heart, which I appreciate.
Fifth, the characters are authentic and delightfully teenagery. That should be a word. Just roll with it.
Sixth, the writing is funny.
Seventh, the pacing is solid.
Eighth, the parental units, actually most of the adults in the story, are decent, layered, and running the show as is typical of the real world.
Ninth, the depictions of neurotic first love/crush behaviors are amusing and spot on.
Tenth, Molly's voice is so earnest and honest, even when she's being unreasonably hard on herself. It's nice watching her grow, but it's realistic in showing that people change and grow slowly. It's more about the process, and evolving, not about achieving perfection.