RATING :: ⭐️
AUTHOR :: BECKY ALBERTELLI
PAGES :: 336 pgs.
PUBLISHER :: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
GENRE :: YA FICTION/ FICTION/ ROMANCE NOVEL
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED :: APRIL 11, 2017
“There’s just something terrifying about admitting you like someone. In a way, it’s actually easier when there’s no chance of anything happening. But there’s this threshold where things suddenly become possible. And then your cards are on the table. And there you are, wanting, right out in the open.” -Mollu Peskin-Suso
Book summary :: Molly Peskin-Suso has a dilemma… she’s had 26 crushes in her life, she’s never been kissed, and she’s afraid of being rejected. She also suffers from anxiety, is the butt of “fat” comments/jokes, and has poor self-esteem issues.
As Molly witnesses her twin sister pulling further away from her on account of a new girlfriend, she struggles between going after a boy, who happens to be her sister’s girlfriend’s best friend, she does not like but that can at least keep her close to her sister and the boy she actually likes but pulls her away from being close to her sister.
So which will it be for Molly? The chubby Tolkien fan-Reid or the Hipster cutie-Will?
DISLIKED this book so much that I didn’t even finish it. 19 chapters in and I officially gave up… which makes this the first book of 2017 that I’ve discontinued and appointed one star to.
First, let’s talk about the characters…
While I originally felt sympathy for the main character-Molly- and her self esteem issues, I couldn’t help growing more and more annoyed as she continued allowing almost every other person to dictate her emotions and personal decisions, including her self-centered, annoying sister-the character I disliked above all others. Molly frequently lies about her true thoughts and feelings, even to her moms, and consistently denies what she truly feels.
I know the book ends with a happily ever after (I checked the ending to see if it was exactly how I thought it would end… I was right), but this is one of those books that I’m glad I didn’t read while I was in high school, else I might have assumed that it takes a romantic relationship and a kiss to grant me self-worth and acceptance.
The main character decides that she is willing to finally run the risk of being rejected-something she’s terrified of- by pursuing a boy that might just like her… but I don’t really see evidence of her trying to learn to love and value herself.
Also, underage drinking? Yeah, totally not a great message for young people. I know teens make dumb decisions (I’m speaking from personal experience) but adding it to a story as if, hey! This is what normal teens do….? I’ll be sure to keep this book far away from my baby sisters.
Note: The ONLY part of the book I liked (but still wasn’t enough to make me give it another star) was when our main character Molly FINALLY stands up to her selfish twin sister. This might be the only part of the story that finally gave me some relief.
Speaking of twin sister, Molly’s sister is the first fiction character of 2017 that I highly dislike. She’s bossy, insensitive to other people’s thoughts and feelings, rude (call it confidence if you’d like… I found her rude), and manipulative. She reminded me of people I’ve met or once knew.
The only character who seemed to have a chill personality was Reid-shy, sensitive, and he doesn’t care what people think of him.
I know I’m supposed to relate to the characters in the book because once upon a time I was 17, boy crazy, and desperate for my first kiss… but when I think back to that time, I realize how blurred my discernment was and how often I made terrible choices based off of my low self-esteem. So while the thoughts and emotions of the characters are relatable, their personal outcomes are not.
I did notice that this book has a lot of diversity as it dives into topics like race, body type, religion, and same-sex attraction… but this alone shouldn’t be the reason why the book gets a good score.
(I do hope people didn’t give it a high score because of the diversity alone 😒)
I didn’t understand the plot. Every chapter felt a bit repetitive. The main focus seemed to be more about Molly finally deciding which boy she truly wants to be with.
I was truly excited to read this book when I finally got my hands on it, so I’m terribly disappointed that it turned out to be the opposite of what I thought it would be.