Molly has had 26 crushes but none of them have ever known. She is too afraid of rejection to ever confess her feelings but when Molly’s twin sister, Cassie, becomes a love-sick mess, Molly feels alone and neglected. She decides that it’s time to stop being so careful but while it’s easy enough to want a boyfriend it seems impossible to actually get one – especially when you don’t think you are capable of being loved.
When Cassie and her new girlfriend, Mina, disappear into their own little love bubble, Molly finds herself jealous and alone. Everyone is rooting for Molly to hook up with Mina’s best friend, Will, who seems like a perfect hipster boyfriend but Molly can’t figure out her heart. She constantly doubts herself and the only one who seems to make her relax and raise her self-esteem is Reid, Molly’s nerdy co-worker with VERY white shoes.
Yes, I know I technically read the series in the wrong order, but it actually made the experience better. Abby Suso from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is Molly’s cousin and has many cameos. Knowing how her story evolves in Leah on the Offbeat made it really fun to look for early clues (no spoilers, I won’t say for what).
I really like Molly as a character but I was quite fed up with her “No-one can love me because I’m fat“-drama halfway through the book. However, I understand that she’s a teenager dealing with anxiety and watching her develop her own personality and strengthen her self-esteem was really interesting. Unfortunately, I thought the story was very predictable. You quickly knew who would get together and which events would occur next and it meant zero suspense.
I love all the representation currently happening in YA, the diversity is awesome so don’t get this the wrong way. It was actually nice to read a story from Becky Albertalli, where multiple orientations were represented but sexuality was not the central theme of the main character’s issues. I think it would have been a bit much to have 3 books in the same universe with the same outline so I applaud Albertalli for this kind of diversity as well!
Overall, the story was very predictable and in no way ground-breaking but I was very entertained and loved being back in Albertalli’s universe. I liked most of the characters, loved the family relationships and was glad to see more diversity. It was a typical filler book, a fun 1.5 read in-between Simon and Leah’s stories.
Page count: 336
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