I am on a roll right now, folks, and I have to use that energy to get as many blog posts out as possible before it fades. Even if my Goodreads time stamps might claim something different, I also seem to read books in a day now … this is new … or at least hasn’t happened in a while. I knew I’d eventually get back into reading once I was in Vienna.
Anyhow, the book! Considering how long it took me to jump on the Simon vs. (read my review here) bandwagon, it should come to no one’s surprise that it took me forever to read Upside as well (even though I did pre-order it!). I was ready to love this book with all my heart and even though it wasn’t exactly as I expected, it easily won me over. Becky has this incredible talent to write a super fluffy story but with the most relatable and realistic characters.
When I look at Molly, I could do a checklist of how similar the two of us are … so, that’s what I am going to do because it shows why this story worked so well for me.
- We are both chubby girls. ✔️
I’ve seen how dismissive or over-reactive some people have found Molly’s thoughts. I always feel like some guys and girls might not understand how deeply rooted self-criticism and doubt can be in a person that doesn’t have the societal normative body type. It hurts double when your friends and family are the ones suggesting you should lose weight, because it just makes you feel all wrong and like you don’t fit in even with the people that love you. So, yes, during my days on this planet, I have wondered if I could possibly crush a potential love interest and how someone could possibly like me when they saw me next to my much skinnier/taller/cuter/whatever-you-have-it friend. It takes time and work to come to terms with your body and yourself but it instantly made me bond with Molly because we shared the same insecurities. Also, going shopping is a nightmare!
- We both have a lot of crushes but rarely do anything about them. ✔️
Admittedly, my crushes are either actors, actresses or fictional characters and I am never serious about them nor do I want to actually date any of them, but I do get the sentiment of how a simple kindness or a brief look might spark an epic crush. It happens!
Still, it’s hard to put yourself out there, especially when everyone else makes it seem so easy and you’re just sitting there, wondering how to even start. It’s easier to not even let anyone close enough to do any damage in the first place.
- All my friends had relationships before me as well and drifted away/thought I could not possibly understand their life now. ✔️
I don’t think I had the time during High School to date. It’s not even that I studied that much, but thinking back, I just don’t know how a person would have fit into my life. Heck, I don’t even know how a person is supposed to fit into my life now. But I digress, I may not have a twin sister like Molly does, but I do get the pain of drifting from the people you were once closest to because they now hang out with their significant other. I do understand that balancing friendships and a relationship can be tricky, especially if you are new to it or have no experience, but you can hang out with one person at a time. Believe me, it is possible. And getting this opportunity, I just want to say that I was really strongly siding with Molly during that entire story as well. Cassie found a tough audience in me. This in no way means that Molly always handles every situation the right way, but I would have felt hurt by some of the stuff Cassie did too. She was hella condescending at times.
- We both have anxiety. ✔️
Does this need explaining? Social gatherings with new people or new situations in general trigger anxiety in me and it seemed like Molly felt similarly.
- We are artsy in our own way. ✔️
Just threw that in there to have one more point for the list, but it’s true.
In addition to me really clicking with Molly, she had just the cutest love interest that I would have loved to know even more about. And I also sense a story or two (or a hundred) for the broader friend circle (Will and Olivia – I am especially looking at you!). I definitely haven’t given the most detailed account of what’s going on in this book, but I would love for you to find out by yourself. It is heartfelt and lovely. It deals with so many questions I had as a teen and shows that you are rarely ever alone in having them. For that and so many more reasons, I think it will be a great book for teens as they figure out life, just like Simon’s story was as well.
Speaking of him! The shortest but most certainly favorite part of it all were the brief crossovers to Simon and his friends. I shrieked with happiness whenever it happened, which just makes me all the more excited for the upcoming Leah on the Offbeat!
Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Definitely a worthy and great addition to Simon’s universe!
Have you read The Upside of Unrequited? How did you feel about it?