Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

Rating: ★★★★☆

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Set in Washington, D.C., THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED follows the summer story of 17-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso, who has had 26 unrequited crushes (and counting!). Molly considers herself the opposite of her fraternal twin sister, Cassie. But things begin to change when Cassie gets a new girlfriend who comes with a new possible boyfriend for Molly. But Molly might have co-worker, Reid, in her mind instead.

I think if I had to sum up this one book in one word it would be cute. The Upside is the second book from Simon vs. author Becky Albertalli and it’s just as fun and adorable as its predecessor. If you loved the humor and pace of Simon vs., you’ll definitely get the same feeling from The Upside. Similar to Simon Vs., Becky’s writing is simple and easy, everything is kept light and hilarious.

Unrequited is about different relationships, while focused on romance, it also includes familial ones and Molly is, easily, a relatable lead. She’s super cute and witty, I found myself rooting her from the very beginning. Becky Albertalli knows how to write awkward moments and happy scenes that create true-to-life scenarios that make this cast of characters feel so real.

Speaking of the cast of characters, rarely do I read a book where I would happily read a novel of each separate characters. From Molly’s mothers, who are strict and loving while they might not get it all the time, they’re clearly caring parents who will do anything for their children to dorky Reid, short stories of just him working in his parents’ store would make me happy. Looking back at the story now, I’ve realised how much Becky has packed into this novel but it never once felt overwhelming. It all felt natural following Molly’s story, but also her sister’s and her friends and family.

I think what got me the most was the fat representation in this book. I loved it and I saw myself in it. While I didn’t personally relate 100% when Molly spoke about her crushes but when it came to her body image, I could relate so much.

Overall, The Upside of Unrequited is a fun and enjoyable read, dealing with multiple issues faced by teenagers and portrays them in such a positive way.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY |

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Book Review: If I Was Your Girl

Book Review: If I Was Your Girl

Rating: ★★★★

“I’m not brave,” I said, smiling despite myself. “Bravery implies I had a choice. I’m just me, you know?”

Amanda is the new girl in school and she’s trying to keep a big secret. Amanda is transgender and moves to Tennessee in hopes of keeping her head down and getting through high school. Soon she makes friends and meets Grant.

If I Was Your Girl was such a charming read. I really enjoyed it. The plot, characters and hilarious sense of humour just made this a really great book. I really loved how the narrative jumps between real-time events and Amanda’s childhood. It added great suspense and was equally heart-breaking. (don’t want to spoil but my heart broke at the diary scene)

I’m not a huge romance reader, which is why I put this book off for so long, and while their romance came across generic, I found it so sweet. Maybe my cynical self needed some adorable picnic dates and cute film dates. They were so lovable and dorky together that I didn’t care it cheesy. I also may or may not had become a mushy mess on the train when I read the Halloween scenes. (Spoiler: Grant goes as Boba Fett and Amanda dresses herself as Leia. IT’S SO CUTE I DIED)

What I really enjoyed was the happy ending. In our media, TV, films and novels, there are so many characters who are LGBT+ and are constantly killed off for shock factor. I know it seems like a spoiler but I do see this book advertised like this, Amanda gets a happy ending, despite everything that happens, Amanda’s happy and alive.

Overall, I admired this book. The biggest issue I could think of was pacing in certain scenes but I definitely recommend this to anyone and add this to your TBR if you haven’t! (Also, I loved the separate author’s note Russo adds at the end: one for her cis readers and one for her trans readers.)

I should note while it’s wonderful that anyone reads my reviews at all, but I should remind you if you don’t know: this is a story about a trans girl written by a trans woman and I am a cis reader. This obviously means my perspective is limited and I will point you all towards reviews written by trans writers. (edit: i thought I bookmarked them but it appears I didn’t so once I find them I’ll link them up)


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE

Book Review: Girl Out of Water

Book Review: Girl Out of Water

Rating: ★★★★☆

In Girl Out of Water, Anise Sawyer finds her final summer before college interrupted when her aunt is in a devastating car accident, which forces her and her dad to make their way to Nebraska to take care of her cousins. Stuck in the triply landlocked state, with three restless cousins, Anise discovers the local skate park and also the charming, one-armed, Lincoln, where she swaps her surfboard for a skateboard.

As someone who isn’t a big YA contemporary reader, I really enjoyed Girl Out of Water. I don’t really know how to describe it. But it was quite peaceful, in comparison, to the other books I’ve been reading. What we have is a heart-warming coming of age novel. Anise thinks she has it all sorted out, but when everything slowly falls apart, she has to take a step back. The more time she spends away from Santa Cruz, away from the sea and her friends, the more she starts to worry that she will become like her mother, who disappears for months on end. Girl Out of Water is Anise realising that, essentially, change has to come and that she doesn’t have to forget the friends she loves and the memories she has in order to make new ones. So the plot isn’t overly dramatic, but it is well-developed. Silverman’s characters were witty, hilarious and diverse. The punchy dialogue and style of writing really reminds me of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything

Girl Out of Water is a story of first love, relationships, loss and change. I have no doubt that this will top the bestseller lists once it’s released. Its decent plot and cast of fun characters makes me excited to see what else Laura Silverman will publish in the future.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE

Book Review: On the Other Side

Book Review: On the Other Side

Rating: ★★★☆☆

In my review of All I Know Now, I mentioned that I was hopeful that Carrie’s fictional debut would be much better than her first book. But I think I preferred All I Know Now to On the Other Side. As a debut, it’s a decent read, but, overall, it was tedious and quite dull.

What I liked the best was the concept of the novel. On the Other Side follows the life of Evie Snow, going on a journey in the afterlife to revisit her past moments in life in order to get rid of her personal baggage and allow her entrance into her own personal Heaven. She must confront three secrets which she had kept and the book is split into three sections for each secret. But that’s where any positivity from me stops.While the whole book wasn’t terrible, there were so many moments and parts that I didn’t like so, looking back on it as I write this, what I didn’t like is a considerable amount of the book.

Continue reading “Book Review: On the Other Side”

Book Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) 

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Celaena Sardothien, previously Assassin of Adarlan, is retrieved from a prison camp by Captain Chaol Westfall, to represent Crown Prince Dorian in a tournament devised by his father  to find a Royal Champion. If she succeeds, Celaena will be the king’s personal assassin for 4 years before being pardoned and freed. But there is something evil lurking in the kingdom, that Celaena must destroy…

Throne of Glass has a lot going for it. I quite enjoyed it, at the first. It was action-packed and mysterious. The world the Maas has created was what got my most attention. There’s so much magic that’s trapped and potential is what’s really holding my interest. It will be interesting to see how Celaena, Dorian and Chaol navigate this world. Despite being caught into, what seems like, an unfortunate love triangle. But I have to admit, this one has my attention, mainly because I wasn’t sure who Celaena would go for. Both men were on an equal footing and there was no annoying “oh you can obviously tell who she’ll pick in the end,” at the very beginning. But it wasn’t enough to change my opinion on Love Triangles. It was nice to see her interact with anyone, mainly because she’s so snarky and funny. (If I was stuck in a mine for a year, I would definitely eat all the chocolate cake I could possibly find) Nehemia was a favourite of mine. She starts off quite mysterious and her devotion was so understanding. You can feel her rage when her people are at stake and she can’t do anything about it.

On the flip side, it also has a few tropes that I usually make me want to yawn. And the lack of focus on the actual tests that Celaena has to go through was disappointing. That’s probably my own fault because that was where I wanted the story the to focus on while the love triangle tends to butt in one too many times for me.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE

Book Review: We Awaken

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Rating: ★★★★☆

We Awaken is a very quiet story compared to the very dramatic book description. Since her father died in a car accident and her brother in a coma from the same accident, Victoria Dinham lives only for dance and is holding on to being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. Until one night, in her dreams, she counters a girl who holds a message from her brother. Higher stakes and a fuller plot would’ve definitely given this five stars.

We Awaken is sweet and happy. And that’s what I loved about it. Lynn creates this romance that is so cute and adorable between Victoria and Ashlinn. We Awaken is a mix of fantasy and magic in the real world. While I thought the beginning was a bit off once I hit the halfway mark, I was hooked and rooting for Victoria for the rest of the way. It’s much more character-driven so I can tell some people may be disappointed with the lack of explanation of the magic in this but the journey of these two girls is so magical and amazing. They help each other in so many ways. Ashlinn helps Victoria understand her sexuality, who later comes out as Asexual. The representation the book gives which allows younger readers to understand more about it within the comforts of a book makes this book even more important. Victoria learns that nobody but her can decide who she is, and she doesn’t need to explain her choices to anyone.

We Awaken is the kind of book that you easily read in one sitting. And in that one sitting, you read a novel that is dreamlike and enjoyable.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE