Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review & Favourite Quotes of Red Hood

Red Hood Tour Banner

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Title:
Red Hood
Authors: Elana K. Arnold
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Fairy Tales

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Synopsis:

You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.

And the wolf is angry.

Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.


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As a novel mainly told in second person point of view, Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold is a very jolting and raw story. The main character, Bisou, does not shy away from being so up front, straightforward, and brutally honest when it comes to her actions, emotions, and womanhood. Closely based off the didactic fairy tale, “Little Red Riding Hood,” Red Hood proposes the same moral stance–“always be aware and cautious, because every one has a hidden agenda.”

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Similar to Buffy in the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the main character in Red Hood depends on her menstrual cycle to fight and hunt, in her case, werewolves. Throughout the book, Bisou is bombarded with conflicts that relate to the gruesome and tense scenes of protecting herself and the women around her. The author does an excellent job of allowing Bisou’s narrative to become part of the reader’s own story, throwing you in the thick of every nail-biting choice that Bisou makes.

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Red Hood has some very terrifying and tense moments, but overall this novel is a constant page turner. The book explores so many modern issues that are often socially avoided: periods, teenage sex, rape, abortion, slut-shaming, toxic masculinity, and domestic violence. Filled with female empowerment, justice, and self defense, Red Hood will leave you in shock and awe.

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WIN a copy of RED HOOD  (USA only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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authorELANA K. ARNOLD is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat and its sequels. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections and have appeared on many best book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

 

Note: Thank you to the The Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me on this blog tour. And a huge thank you to Harper Teen for providing me an e-ARC to read and review for free in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own. Please note that all quoted material is not final and may change in the final publication of the book.

Friday Raves & Giveaway: Dumplin’ is now on Netflix!

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Title: Dumplin’
Author:  Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen 
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Synopsis:

NOW a Netflix film–featuring Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, and Dove Cameron, as well as a soundtrack from Dolly Parton!

The movie tie-in edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller and feel-good YA of the year—about Willowdean Dickson, the fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroine who takes on her small town’s beauty pageant.

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.

With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Julie Murphy is the leading voice in body positivity for teens in the YA space. Willowdean is a heroine rarely seen in teen books and movies—she is confident and unafraid.  Her struggle with body image issues is a subject every teen can relate to. But Will doesn’t have to lose weight to be happy at the end of this book—or to fall in love.


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You guys! One of my favorite books of 2015 is now a NETFLIX movie! AHHHHH!!!

I teamed up with the amazing Wunderkind-PR and we are giving away a free copy of the paperback movie tie-in book.  

Dumplin’ was previously released in 2015 and is a New York Times #1 bestseller. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

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Please note that Wunderkind-PR is kindly giving away a movie tie-in edition of Dumplin’. Open to all US residents. All you need to do is Retweet my tweet, and I will pick a winner Friday, December 14. And if you win, the book will be sent by Wunderkind-PR straight to your mailbox. How awesome is that, Y’ALL?!

TWEET TO RETWEET:

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE:


Praise for Dumplin’

 “Murphy (Side Effects May Vary) successfully makes every piece of the story—Dolly Parton superfans, first love, best-friend problems, an unlikely group of pageant entrants, female solidarity, self-acceptance, and Willowdean’s complicated relationship with the mother who nicknamed her “Dumplin’ “—count, weaving them together to create a harmonious, humorous, and thought-provoking whole.”
   — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 “Will’s singular voice compels readers to think about all that goes into building-and destroying-self-esteem…Splendid”

 Booklist (starred review)

“DUMPLIN’ should be required reading for anyone who has ever felt even slightly uncomfortable in his or her skin. Julie Murphy’s star continues to shine with this groundbreaking, poignant story that will surely change lives.”
   — John Corey Whaley, award-winning author of Noggin and Where Things Come Back

“I’m obsessed with this book. Wickedly funny, heartbreakingly real, full of characters to love and cheer for. DUMPLIN’ is such a star.”
   — Katie Cotugno, author of How to Love and 99 Days

Awards and Other Acclaim

  • ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • An ALA Top Ten Pick for Reluctant Readers 
  • An Indies Choice Best Young Adult Honor Book
  • Best Book of the Year & Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel by Romantic Times
  • New York Public Library Best Book of the Year 
  • Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year 
  • Tumblr Reblog Book Club Pick
  • Amazon Best Book of the Year
  • B&N Best Book of the Year
  • Booklist Editor’s choice
  • Spirt of Texas High School Reading List
  • Tayshas (Texas Teen) Reading List
  • Indigo Best Book of the Year

ABOUT JULIE MURPHY…THE QUEEN

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Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time. When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure. She is also the author of Puddin’ and Side Effects May Vary. You can visit Julie at www.juliemurphywrites.com.

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Circle of Shadows
Author: Evelyn Skye
Publication date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart.

***

“Heart-stopping action and breath-stealing twists kept me up late into the night, but the fierce camaraderie between the characters is what cemented my love for Circle of Shadows. Work hard, mischief harder—and read this book as soon as you can!” (Sara Raasch, New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series and These Rebel Waves)

“I was captivated by this lush and beautifully written story of courage, treachery, and deceit.” (Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The False Prince series and The Traitor’s Game)

“Epic in scale, immersive and imaginative, Circle of Shadows will reel you in and refuse to let you go. Evelyn Skye weaves extraordinary worlds, with a magic any taiga would envy–I never wanted to leave Kichona.” (Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling co-author of the Illuminae series)

 

Goodreads Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 

Cover Reveal: CIRCLE OF SHADOWS by Evelyn Skye

COVER REVEAL OF CIRCLE OF SHADOWS 

Today I have joined with Evelyn Skye to reveal the cover for Circle of Shadows, which releases January 22, 2019! Circle of Shadows is a new series written by Evelyn Skye, New York Times Bestselling author of The Crown’s Game and The Crown’s Fate 


Check out the gorgeous cover!

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EEEKKKK…. I LOVE IT! WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?

Title: Circle of Shadows
Author: Evelyn Skye
Pub. Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Find it: AmazonB&N,  Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart.

***

“Heart-stopping action and breath-stealing twists kept me up late into the night, but the fierce camaraderie between the characters is what cemented my love for Circle of Shadows. Work hard, mischief harder—and read this book as soon as you can!” (Sara Raasch, New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series and These Rebel Waves)

“I was captivated by this lush and beautifully written story of courage, treachery, and deceit.” (Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The False Prince series and The Traitor’s Game)

“Epic in scale, immersive and imaginative, Circle of Shadows will reel you in and refuse to let you go. Evelyn Skye weaves extraordinary worlds, with a magic any taiga would envy–I never wanted to leave Kichona.” (Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling co-author of the Illuminae series)

 

About Evelyn Skye:

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Evelyn Skye is the NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author of THE CROWN’S GAME and its sequel, THE CROWN’S FATE. New series–CIRCLE OF SHADOWS–coming Winter 2019. 

Evelyn was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. She can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

 

A huge thank you to Evelyn Skye for inviting me to be part of this amazing cover reveal! 
 

Waiting on Wednesday: These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: These Rebel Waves
Author: Sara Raasch
Publication date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical

Synopsis

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Waiting On Wednesday: Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Puddin’ 
Author: Julie Murphy 
Publication date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary 

Synopsis

It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant. 

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

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Title: Here We Are Now
Author: Jasmine Warga
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: November 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she’d ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense – kinda – because Julian Oliver is Taliah’s father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.

Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father – her grandfather – who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother’s trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.

With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her ‘father’ and her family. But Julian isn’t the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother’s past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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“I think with some people you can just tell you’re going to have a
history with them. Even if that history hasn’t happened yet.”–Here We Are Now

Wow, Pamplemousse! I think this book found me at the right time in my life. Here We Are Now is short and expands over a few days, but I also enjoyed that flashbacks of the main character’s parents falling in and out love is littered throughout the pages. I really connected with the main character Taliah, who is definitely a hard shell to crack. But I loved that although she is sarcastic, smart, and funny, she also holds a tight rope around her emotions. She is cautious with letting people in, but I liked that her journey to meet her father and his family for the very first time, opens up her world to new challenges and emotional breakthroughs. 

I don’t want to give too much away in regards to the plot, because it is very straight forward and well-focused on Taliah, a teenager, meeting her father, a well-known rock star, for the very first time. And throughout the pages, Taliah pushes herself to open up to her dad, discover unknown information about her mom, and meet her long lost family. And importantly she matures and discovers things about herself. 

Here We Are Now is very straight-forward and focuses a lot on modern day scenarios, such as familial conflicts, diversity, biracial relationships, and tough love. I found myself laughing a lot during this book, because these characters are so witty and heartwarming. But there are also some parts that are heartbreaking, and these moments are so raw and gritty and realistic. In the end, I liked that the conclusion of this book leaves the characters wide open for new possibilities and room to grow, instead of a simple “happily ever after” ending. 

 

4 star rating

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds, and I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine. 

Waiting On Wednesday: Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Ashley Poston
Publication date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

Waiting on Wednesday: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

18336972

about the book - warga

Title: Here We Are Now
Author: Jasmine Warga
Publication date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis

Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she’d ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense – kinda – because Julian Oliver is Taliah’s father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.

Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father – her grandfather – who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother’s trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.

With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her ‘father’ and her family. But Julian isn’t the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother’s past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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Title:
The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli

Publication date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

About the Book:

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?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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Not very often I will find a book that makes me think, “I wish this book existed when I was in high school.” And The Upside of Unrequited is one of those books I wish I had read during my teenage years. This is the first book I have read by Becky Albertalli (sorry Simon fans), and I loved it! I could really relate to Molly, an introvert with dreams and hopes but is apprehensive and unsure about her life, her weight, talking to boys, and everything in between.

Molly is now one of my favorite young adult characters. She has fire in her soul, but like many introverts that are unsure how to break out of their shell or push against their natural routine, Molly bottles this flame. But what makes Molly different and unique is that she slowly allows her flame to burn and shine. I liked Molly because she is cautious but also daring in the most surprising ways. Molly is a teenager that realistically portrays inner monologues, crushes, and jealousy. She over-analyzes everything, because what teenager doesn’t. Molly is realistic and smart and kind and just the type of person I would want as a friend.

What I also loved about The Upside of Unrequited is Becky Albertalli’s ability to bring to light less talked about subjects that need to be littered in young adult literature. It is 2017, and there are still girls out there who do not see themselves in modern-day stories because they are told they are too big, not the right size, not the right color, pray to a different god, etc. But what I loved about The Upside of Unrequited is that Albertalli’s storytelling challenges the traditional sense of literature, and says: Here world. Here is an introverted girl who is insecure about her weight and talking to boys. Here is a family that has lesbian mothers raising an interracial family. Here are two twins sisters both with unique personalities. Two teenage sisters, one who loves to flirt and date girls, and one who collects crushes and daydreams about kissing boys. This is definitely a positive and eye-opening book for adolescents. 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Upside of Unrequited because the story is smart, realistic, swoony, and funny. I loved that all of the characters are so unique and different. These are the characters and stories that need to be whispered between shy friends. This is the book that needs to be handed out in the classroom. The Upside of Unrequited is the book that needs to be on every girl’s nightstand, pulled off a library shelf by an overanalyzing teenager, and bought by the person who wants to spend their $20.00 allowance on a book that will not only make them laugh but also make them think. 

star rating

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.