Tired of crushing with no kisses, 17-year-old Molly decides to take a chance on love.
Molly has always felt inferior to her fraternal twin, Cassie: though both are white, Molly is brown-haired, brown-eyed, and fat in contrast to Cassie’s blonde slenderness. But Molly doesn’t hate her body—she’s just afraid other people do. The combination of these feelings of inadequacy with ordinary teen awkwardness is a recipe for uneasy interactions with boys. Molly’s 26 crushes have all been unrequited—but have they, really? When Cassie falls in love for the first time, and two eligible possibilities present themselves, Molly decides to risk rejection. Against the backdrop of the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. and the planning of her moms’ subsequent nuptials, Molly struggles between choosing the boy she actually likes and the one who seems ideal. Themes of body image, rejection, first love, and the evolution of familial relationships—particularly between sisters—loom large. Molly is the queen of teen angst, and her voice may grate on readers. The cast is wonderfully diverse (family, sexual orientation, religion/culture, race, size, mental health), which is why it’s so sad that, though well-drawn, the characters are hard to connect with.
While that’s disappointing, fans of romance and those looking to diversify their shelves may be willing to forgive its foibles. (Fiction. 14-17)