In May our YA book club read Becky Albertalli’s sophomore book The Upside of Unrequited. It’s about a girl who keeps having crushes, but never actually gets a boyfriend. Besides being about love, it’s also about family and sisterhood and a general coming of age story. The opinions in our book club were really divided. Some were just as impressed with this one as they were with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, while others called the book shallow and boring. So at least the discussion was very interesting! As always, we’re recommending two books you might also want to try and we’ll leave some discussion questions at the end just in case you’re doing research for your own book club.
Another very cute, contemporary romance between two adorable characters.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
A story of pretending, falling down and finding out no one’s perfect.
Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.
Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.
But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?
Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.
Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.
And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?
- Our discussion centered a lot about the book and characters being too shallow. Do you think that the story and characters were indeed shallow or did you see more depth in them?
- There were many pop culture references in the book. How do you think this novel will age because of that?
- This book is connected to Albertalli’s first novel with a small appearance of Simon. What did you think of these stories being part of a connected universe?
- There’s a heavy emphasis on diversity. What do you think this added to the story?
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