Posted in 2018, Becky Albertalli, Fiction, LGBTQ, young adult

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

I read this book because I was discovering the books of Becky Albertalli. This book is somewhat a spinoff of Simon Vs The Homesapiens Agenda. Only not really. It’s about the cousins of Abby. Simon and Abby do make an appearance in this book but its not about them at all.

In this book, our protagonist (Abby’s cousin) Molly is learning about falling in love. Sounds yucky, I know, but really, it’s funny. She’s used to just crushing on people and never really any real opportunity for love, but once her sister Cassie starts dating this girl seriously (Cassie is known to be player), she starts feeling more left out and starts searching for the company of others (#NoMoreSafetyBlanket).

This book is written in 1st person point of view. For someone who’s lonely, Molly is very nice and upbeat (unlike Leah. Leah, I feel, is like her negative energy counterpart. Interestingly enough, Leah sounded a lot like Molly in her book rather than sounding like Leah from Simon and the Homosapien’s Agenda. That sentence only makes sense if you’re read all three of Albertalli’s books).

I’d recommend this as a fun read if you just want to read something cute. However, it has very little to do with Simon (as mentioned earlier) so if that’s the reason you’re reading it, you will be disappointed. I was able to finish this book in a day so it’s not a hard read whatsoever.

I will say this, Molly has done such a great job being a people pleaser, that we don’t get to know too much about her. I feel like I knew more about Cassie than I did about Molly.

There weren’t any memorable quotes but here are some passages I liked:

I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.

There was a book I read a few years ago called Human by Matt Haig where he stated how improbable it is for two people to meet, let alone connect. That stuck with me and it’s great to read a story where someone questions it.

The silence is a little painful. It’s funny, because you always think the hard part is meeting someone the first time. It’s not. It’s the second time, because you’ve already used up all the obvious topics of conversation. And even if you haven’t, it’s strange and heavy-handed to introduce random conversational topics at this stage in the game.

One of the things I hate about “just be yourself” is that I am many different versions of me. It’s not a lie, it’s adaptation. Which version should I be? What if one version is more interesting than the other. What if one of my versions is too snobish for someone. So yes, although I am one of the few people who want to be more than just internet friends, I am always nervous that I can’t keep up.

I’m not trying to overthink things. I’m trying to be less careful. But you have to be your heart’s own goalie.
And if I’m going to be rejected, I want to see it coming.

The sad thing is that if it got to this far of the tought process, chances are, you already rejected yourself. You’re not a goalie, you’re a future teller.

Maybe my company is even better than making out–which is pretty much my goal as a human being, honestly.

This was just hilarious. Back story on this quote, her twin sister was hanging out with her girlfriend for Independence Day event. Our protagonist kept trying to give them space but they kept following her including her in all the activities. They sacrificed their “together time” to hang out with Molly.

Image taken from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30653853-the-upside-of-unrequited

 

 

Posted in LGBTQ

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I read this book because it was this month’s reading in one of my bookclubs. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but this was a fun read. It was simple. The characters were lovable. The love interests didn’t feel forced. It was a fast read too. Mostly dialogue and train of thoughts. Nothing major.

This book has two different multiple character points of view while they experience the wonders of SupaCon.

The first character, Taylor, is a blogger. She is autistic. Being in her mind is quite interesting and we get to see her grow confident within the story. I really liked how she explained how her mind works.

Our second character, Charlie, started out as a YouTube star who is now promoting her first movie. She is bisexual and we see her struggle trying to recover from her cheating ex-boyfriend while trying to find new love in one of her YouTube idols.

The storyline had no real meaning other than stop worrying what everyone else thinks of you. I would recommend this story if you want to read something that doesn’t make you think too much. It’s not a romance novel, it’s a learning coming to terms with yourself novel…that happens to have romance in it. It does have LGBT characters so if you are not okay with that, don’t bother picking it up.

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Favorite Quotes 
(might contain spoilers)

“Anxiety isn’t an attack that explodes out of me; it’s not a volcano that lies dormant until it’s triggered by an earth-shattering event. It’s a constant companion. Like a blowfly that gets into the house in the middle of summer, flying around and around. you can hear it buzzing, but you can’t see it, can’t capture it, can’t let it out. My anxiety is invisible to others, but often it’s the focal point of my mind. Everything that happens on a day-to-day basis is filtered through a lens colored by anxiety. That nervousness that makes your palms sweat and your heart race before you get up and make a speech in front of an audience? That’s what I feel in a normal conversation at a dinner table. Or just thinking about having a conversation at a dinner table. “
That’s a really long quote, I know. I just like how descriptive it is. If you’ve ever suffered from anxiety, this is pretty much accurate. The simple step feels like a mountain to climb for someone with anxiety. It’s irritating. It’s hard to control. It ruins a lot of events. Even if you try to push the thought aside, your body will react. You can’t really escape it. It’ll form, one way or another. If it’s really bad, it can be paralyzing. If it’s not, then deep breaths might help. Forming relationships when you have anxiety is a challenge. So it’s really cool to read that Taylor has two best friends who don’t judge her.

8e146a0d-841e-47f2-b745-9b1e4f2fc6d3-c2c6fc9d-a9ca-4363-8ef0-ed51522b6d12-v1“Everything feels like I’m on stage, spotlight on me, all eyes on me, watching, judging. Like I’m one second away from total disaster. It’s invisible, it’s irrational, it’s never-ending. I could be standing there, smiling and chatting like everything is totally fine, while secretly wanting to scream and cry and run away. No one would ever know. In my mind,no one can hear me scream. I hide it because I know it’s not understood or acceptable–because I’m not understood or acceptable.”
This is just another awesome quote about living with anxiety. I’m kind of obsessed with mental disorders.

e03b8e0f-a5ea-4e06-a739-aaf8e3b69e46-c2c6fc9d-a9ca-4363-8ef0-ed51522b6d12-v1“I’m sure she’s flirting with me. At least, I hope she is. It excites and terrifies me all at the same time. I love everything about crushes. The butterflies, the possibilities, the giddy wonder of it all.”
One thing you might now figure about me is that I’m a hopeless romantic. As a hopeless romantic, I like books where love works. It’s strange because I don’t really like romantic novels. I don’t like romance novels because the conflict is the love. I love books like this one, where there is romance but it is not about the romance. Then I get to enjoy the romance aspect of it without rolling my eyes after every time a character “wishes” they can be with someone whom we all know they will end up with anyway. Optimism in a doomed world is nice to read every now and then. It’s no surprise that I found myself smiling after reading this. (Might have been blushing a little…just a little….don’t tell anyone)

aa6607d6-7ab6-4a5a-80d0-ceba370bf3f0-c2c6fc9d-a9ca-4363-8ef0-ed51522b6d12-v1“Sometimes it feels like I’m allergic to the world, like I’m allergic to my own species. Being here, it’s an assault on my senses.”
I found that hilarious. I’m not laughing at the fact that people actually feel this way. I’m laughing because I feel our species is an assault to our senses. We make no sense. We are disagreeable about any important issue.

“I felt like my whole future was dependent on it, and now I’m lost.”
I like this quote because it’s extremely relatable. I have done the error of placing an event on a pedestal. Of making something seem more important than it is. Why? Because it’s easy. It makes more sense than being introspective and continually work on yourself. So we place these moments as milestones of growth, or success. The downside is that if it’s disappointing, we crash hard. It will affect our esteem and our plans. So I understand why Taylor felt lost. She made meeting her idol her medicine if you will. The fixer-uppper. The “if I can do this, everything will be okay.” Accepting life on life’s term is the hardest thing to do and having these little goals help us feel a little more in control.

“You can’t pick and choose whose equality you support. That’s not equality.”
I just feel like this should be a bumper sticker.

“When making friends is the hardest thing in the world for you, you don’t risk it all by telling one of them that you’re in love with him.”
It’s just devastating to be in a position where you have to choose. Where you feel like expressing yourself will ruin everything. It makes you feel invaluable. Or that you don’t deserve love. You’re already hard to tolerate and on top of that you want to mix feeling with it and how dare you make things complicated and put people in an uncomfortable position. It’s  best to just keep your mouth shut and let everyone be happy with the ways things are. But you’re not happy….but what makes you important? What gives you the right to ask someone to love you? They don’t owe you anything, they’re already doing more than enough by just being your friend. (This may or may not be a conversation I have with myself from time to time.)

The following are just more awesome quotes on anxiety, self-esteem and love:
“We’re the ones who get up and face our worst fears every day. We keep fighting.”

“Things that most people consider to be normal, daily parts of life are the very things we fear and struggle with the most, and yet here we are, moving forward anyway. That’s not weak.”

“No. It’s not pathetic. I can relate. My ex-girlfriend wasn’t a movie star, but to me she was…everything. Everyone wanted to be with her, too. But she chose me. I didn’t like myself much back then, and having her look at me the way she did made me feel like I was worth something.”

“I didn’t see how much of my self-worth had been tied into that relationship until it was over. The hardest part wasn’t  leaving her behind; it was feeling like I’d left pieces of myself behind. The only pieces I liked.” (raise your hand if you can relate)

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“Love is intense. You break down all your walls to let someone in. But if they’re not good for you, they can tear you up from the inside. And you think what you have together is love, so you let them.”

 

(Featured image was taken from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28245707-queens-of-geek)