Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Page Count: 336
Publication Date: 2017
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Also by Becky Albertalli:
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Molly has had twenty-six crushes and zero boyfriends. Her twin sister has no problem talking to crushes and is determined to find Molly a boyfriend. When Molly's sister Cassie falls head-over-heels for a new girl named Mina, Mina's friend Will seems to be the perfect candidate for Molly's first boyfriend, except maybe he isn't, and her nerdy but sweet co-worker Reid is.
I really loved Simon so of course I was interested in checking out Albertalli's newest release. While I preferred Simon over this one, I still really enjoyed this one. Albertalli's humor is spot on, and she seamlessly incorporates diversity into her works.
I loved the natural diversity in this novel. While most of the characters were diverse, it never felt like any of the characters existed just to be diverse. Molly and Cassie have two moms and were born via invetro; one of their moms is African American; Cassie is gay; Molly is overweight; both are Jewish; and there is a pansexual character. All of these diverse elements are so natural to the story and handled perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the way that Molly's weight was handled as it is a part of who she is, but she never once mentions loosing weight or hating her weight. She is who she is, and she loves who she is. So refreshing!
I found Molly's narration to be very natural. It really felt like a seventeen year old girl was narrating this story, which is both good and bad. It always takes me a minute to adjust to teenager thinking again when I read a YA book that is authentically teenager-ish, but once I adjusted, I really enjoyed it. Molly is funny and honest, and her views on love and romance are authentic.
The characters are great. Reid was a sweetheart and a great YA male love interest. He was unique and authentically and apologetically himself. This novel dealt with a lot of themes central to YA, romantic love, sibling relationship, body image, and handling change.
This is a YA novel that I'm really glad exists. Although it doesn't quite reflect my experience as a teenager, I know it reflects a teenage experience that is not uncommon, but that is not commonly represented in YA fiction. I will be picking up whatever Albertalli comes out with in the future; she has earned a seat on my list of favorite YA contemporary authors.