The Upside of Unrequited – by Becky Albertalli

There’s this feeling I get when I watch people kiss. I become a different form of matter. Like they’re water, and I’m an ice cube. Like I’m the most alone person in the entire world.

This book grabbed me from the first sentence.

It’s strange how you can sometimes still feel self-conscious around people you’ve known your whole life.

I’m not a huge fan of young adult, probably because my father unwittingly made me skip it. I read children’s books, and then moved on to Encyclopedia Brown and the Wayside School stories and the Baby Sitter’s Club books. And then one day my father dropped Tom Sawyer in my hand and told me to go read it. So I did. And then I read Huck Finn, and then Watership Down, and I never looked back. (Somewhere in there, I did find time to read the Black Stallion series, though. I was crazy about horses. What girl isn’t? My best friend Kenneday has a theory that anyone who has a horse and loves that horse is fucking that horse. There is a reason that we talk more about his lovely wife Anne on this blog than we do about him.)

Anyway, those first few chapters were fantastic and had a great setup. It was adorable and catchy and engaging. The book definitely grabbed me at the first sentence.

But after a few chapters, it let go.

I know that my opinion isn’t the usual one; this book has excellent ratings on GoodReads and other sites. I fully accept that I’m an outlier – which isn’t surprising because I’m only starting to dip my toe into YA, and it’s a genre I’m not familiar with.

But after a few chapters, I was not feeling this book at all. I thought it had great potential and kind of failed to deliver. That sounds like a really asshole-y, arrogant thing to say, so I’ll just stop myself right there.

If you read it, I hope you enjoy it more than I did.


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