Good morning everyone! I’ve spoken at length before about how I ordinarily suspend all regular posts and features on Pop! Goes The Reader throughout the Her Story event so as not to distract from it, but there’s an exception to every rule, and today’s post is one that’s extra special and extremely close to my heart.
I first read Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda in August 2014, and immediately knew I had discovered a book quite unlike any other. I am now lucky enough to call Becky a dear friend, but even were this not the case, I would still feel eminently blessed to be able to use this platform to speak at length about her books, because I believe strongly in the work she does and the stories she tells. Whether exploring issues of sexual orientation or body image, anxiety or insecurities, Becky does so with a unparalleled sensitivity and thoughtfulness that make each of her novels feel tangible, true, and unerringly real. This is no less true for Becky’s forthcoming April 2017 release, The Upside Of Unrequited. For those of you who do not follow me on Twitter, I recently shared a few of my initial impressions after reading an early draft of this novel, which can be found here. To say that I loved this novel would be an understatement. Molly’s story is one I’m intimately familiar with, because it’s my story, too. You can therefore imagine my surprise and delight when Becky asked whether I would be willing to reveal the cover for The Upside Of Unrequited on Pop! Goes The Reader. It was absolutely an honour to have been able to work with Becky on this post and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with everyone today. This is THE 2017 Book To Watch and I know I’ll be recommending it to everyone and anyone for many months (and years) to come.
Please read on to learn a little more about this truly spectacular sophomore release from Becky Albertalli, including a personal note from the author, an exclusive cover reveal, as well as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to enter to win a signed and personalized ARC of The Upside Of Unrequited!
This book did not come easily.
I know that’s what happens sometimes with second books. For me, it was like writing with the world reading over my shoulder. Every paragraph I drafted came with its own mental one-star review. I was the worst, my writing was the worst, and I was a total fraud who never should have opened a laptop. I was sure this was the worst book anyone had ever written. But it was deeper than that.
The thing about The Upside Of Unrequited is that it’s so me. It’s my heart on my sleeve. It’s me making awkwardly intense eye contact with you while singing. Molly’s experiences aren’t exactly like mine (let’s be honest: she gets more action than I ever got in high school). But I was – am – a fat girl who could never figure out if she was pretty. I was lonely. I was too careful. I burned with secret unrequited crushes that felt both hopeless and thrillingly possible. I wanted to be in love, but love was a thing that happened to other people.
And I never talked about this stuff – not to my family and friends. Certainly not to thousands of strangers and every single person I’ve ever known. Writing this story scared me. I’d never felt so vulnerable over a book before.
But after two years and seven rewrites and so many tears and missed deadlines, the weirdest thing happened: I fell in love with Molly. In fact, The Upside Of Unrequited may actually not be the worst book ever written. I may actually love it as much as I love Simon.
Because Upside is a love letter to the late bloomers and the fat girls and the ones who worry it will never happen. It’s a love letter to teen me. It’s a love letter to the people who don’t get love letters.
And maybe it didn’t come easily, but it got there eventually. Just like me.
About Becky Albertalli
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and – coming soon – The Upside Of Unrequited. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children and teens. Currently, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta, where she spends her days writing books for teens. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.
Title The Upside of Unrequited
Author Becky Albertalli
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
To Be Published April 11th, 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Find It On Goodreads
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. 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 a Tolkien superman with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
As an extra, exciting bonus, Becky has been kind enough to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a signed and personalized ARC of The Upside Of Unrequited! This contest is open internationally to all entrants and the prize will be distributed once advance reader copies become available. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!