cover image The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited

Becky Albertalli. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-234870-8

Molly Peskin-Suso is the opposite of sexually precocious: now 17, she’s had “twenty-six crushes and exactly zero kisses.” When love finds her more confident twin sister, Cassie, a fissure develops that Molly reads as the inevitable first step toward twin division, “the part where we turn from we to she and me.” Cassie tries to hook Molly up with a pal of new girlfriend Mina, but Molly is drawn to Reid, a co-worker who Mina describes, derogatorily, as “one of those Ren Faire guys. Season pass, full costume.” Albertalli’s follow-up to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda features a diverse family (Molly’s mothers are different races and religions) living in Beltway Washington the year gay marriage is legalized. It’s as full of heart as Simon (Simon himself makes a cameo appearance) and is replete with humor and honestly drawn characters like Grandma Betty, who comments inappropriately about Molly’s weight and thinks all lesbians have short hair. The cheerful resolution has Molly finding her own path, concluding that, no matter how well-intentioned one’s wingman might be, you have to be your heart’s own goalie. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency. (Apr.)