Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: April 11th, 2017
Genres: YA, Romance, contemporary,
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?
In the three Albertalli books I’ve read, she has captured adolescence so perfectly. There’s a moment in this book when Molly is talking to one of her moms about how is she doesn’t get a boyfriend soon she’ll never have a boyfriend, and her mom tells her she’s being dramatic, but there’s a quote in that exchange that sums it up perfectly: “And it’s the end of the world and the beginning of the world and we’re seventeen. It’s an awesome thing.”
One thing about YA that I love is that everything feels important. If I don’t date this person, if I don’t kiss anyone before the end of junior year, if I don’t find this dead Welsh King that obviously buried in the middle of Virginia for no apparent reason, if I don’t pass this test, everything will end. The whole world will collapse and I will have nothing. I think it can be a turn-off for non-YA readers, but it’s why I love it so much. Being seventeen is the literal worst and you’re on the cusp of your life changing with high school ending and college beginning and everything feels so much. You will die of embarrassment if you don’t have a date to the prom. It may not be rational, but it feels real at the moment. Teenagers feel more and feel everything personally. Each one of us is living in our own The Chosen One scenario, in which we are Harry Potter.
I loved Molly, I connected deeply with her the way I wanted to feel connected with Leah in Leah off Beat but couldn’t. Molly feels different, compares herself to her skinny sister and her amazon tall best friends Oliva. She compares her life to her cousin Abby (a character we meet in Simon vs.). Molly is bigger and doesn’t think she’s pretty, and hides herself. When a boy, Reid, shows interest in her, she doesn’t understand it. I thought Reid was great. He was dorky and silly and a good match of Molly’s personality. I loved it.
I found Molly’s twin sister well-intentioned, but kind of annoying. From an outsiders point of view, it’s clear to see there’s no chemistry between Molly and Will, they are written that way, but Cassie keeps pushing it because it would be cool to have her sister dating her girlfriend’s best friend. Like, I get the idea, but seeing Molly and Will together, Cassie probably should have dropped it. There’s a difference between thinking someone is cute or having a crush on them and thinking they’d be good to date. I have had crushes on incredibly inappropriate people, whom I know I should not/would not date. I think Molly knows this, but I don’t think Cassie understands and it makes for some awkward situations that could have been avoided by listening to her sister.
That said, the drama between this sisters is super believable and great tension. I do not have a sister, but I do have a best friend from high school, and we would get into similar though not really the same, kinds of fights all the time about little things. It’s the closest I have to this situation, but in the book, it felt authentic and believable.
Overall, I found this is book super cute and a fun summer read. This is a good romance book. It’s not all about romance, but it mostly is. I think it would be a nice quick read for a beach day this summer. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I think you should.
Until next time Internet,