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Identity, Diversity, Love, And Sisterhood: Becky Albertalli’s “The Upside Of Unrequited"

In “The Upside of Unrequited”, Becky Albertalli talks about 17-year old Molly who struggles with anxiety. She has low self-esteem and seems to be insecure to everyone as they grow up. Cassie, who is Molly’s fraternal twin, enters the story to tell fragments of sisterhood in terms of the ups and downs of it and spending best days with your sister.

Molly finds it difficult to choose between the boy she likes and the ideal. She is also described as fat, brown-haired and eyed in contrast to her sister who is a fit blonde--so we get more of an idea where the anxiety comes from. What makes Molly's story unforgettable is her 26 unrequited crushes. Yes, 26. We begin to understand Molly as someone who can’t take rejection.


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Albertalli tackles diversity as the main character has two mothers. Apart from this, there is a lot of representation breaking norms. The LGBTQPI+ community and pansexuality and asexuality are mentioned in the story. Also, there is an inclusivity of culture, race, and family.

As per Stephanie Perkins, a New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss, the book is “heart-fluttering, honest, and hilarious. I can’t stop hugging this book”. How the author wrote it is appealing because of the honesty and straightforwardness of it, along with convincing words and sentences. 

Albertalli is a writer of contemporary young adult fiction such as award-winning Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agena.