My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Smart, funny, sweet and emotional. I loved this book even more than Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
It’s incredibly well written, with a diverse and likeable cast of characters and an incredibly cute romance.
Synopsis (from GoodReads)
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. 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. 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 a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
OK confession time, I didn’t love Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I wanted to, had really high hopes for it but while I did enjoy it there was that little something missing for me.
This book however, this book I did love. I don’t know if it was just that I went into it with slightly lower expectations (my expectations were through the roof for Simon vs) or if I could just relate more to Molly but I thought it was so much better.
Albertalli’s writing is absolutely wonderful. She manages to capture the voice and feeling of being a teenager so well that it took me right back to my teenage years. There isn’t a huge story, it’s pretty much your usual coming of age/YA romance but main character Molly is so likeable it’s difficult not to get hooked in.
Molly was definitely a character I could relate to. She’s smart, creative and close to her family and friends but is self conscious, anxious and quiet when it comes to meeting new people and boys in particular. She develops crushes at the drop of a hat but is too scared to act and therefore ends up worshiping the boy of the moment from afar.
I loved how her character developed over the course of the story and in particular the very real way in which the author portrayed the changing relationship with her twin sister. In many ways the romance within the book was almost secondary, although it was very sweet and one of the highlights for me.
One of the other highlights was the amount of diversity. This is possibly one of the most diverse books I’ve ever come across and it felt like almost every group was represented in some way. Molly has two moms, she’s Jewish, her sister is a lesbian who is involved with a pansexual character, she has weight issues and suffers from anxiety. In the beginning I did wonder if this was too much and the author was forcing too much in but thankfully this turned out not to be the case. It all feels very natural and the issues raised are dealt with in quite a subtle and realistic way.
Overall a great read and one I’d definitely recommend if you like YA contemporary with diverse characters.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own.