Summary: When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Leah on the Offbeat was on my TBR for quite awhile and all of the hype on bookstagram around its release date made me put it on hold from the library immediately! Not to mention my need for anything Simon-related after seeing and falling in love with Love, Simon back in March.
I read Leah on the Offbeat in less than two days because I didn’t want to part with Leah and the gang. It was fun being back in the Simonverse (I loved the nods to The Upside of Unrequited cast), as everyone prepares for prom and college. As typical per senior year, some drama ensues, but Becky Albertalli provides serious and great decision on race, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Leah’s family isn’t as well-off as her friends are, and it felt quite real when Leah talked about money and how she was set to go to the college that offered her the most financial aid. I loved Leah’s mom, and unlike some YA parents, she really knew who her daughter was and did her best to help her. And even Wells/ Prince William wasn’t as bad as Leah makes him out to be.
As per usual of Becky Albertalli, I love all of the pop cultural references aka Harry Potter. I loved Leah’s Slytherin jokes and it was so much fun to see Abby join in on the HP love with Abby and Simon as she reads the series for the first time. And Leah definitely has a fangirl worthy wardrobe, with her space dress and Hogwarts cardigan (even though her descriptions of Abby’s clothing had me wanting to go through her wardrobe!).
I was just disappointed that Leah doesn’t come out to Simon and her friends until the very end of the book. And yes, it’s quite a cute moment when it come across the Leah is indeed bisexual, but if there’s anyone that Leah could have had a conversation with about her sexuality and crush, it’s Simon. However, I understand that Leah didn’t need to come out to anyone if she didn’t want to, and there would have been some awkwardness with some of the crushes and relationships in the friend group. But I also never really felt chemistry between Leah and her crush so….
Overall, I enjoyed Leah on the Offbeat for reuniting us with the Simonverse and for its unique first person perspective. I’m looking forward to Becky and Adam Silvera’s What if It’s Us this fall!
Have you read Leah on the Offbeat? Share in the comments!
Since Leah is a unique protagonist, I figured today would be the perfect time for me to do the Unique Blogger Award. I was nominated to answer the following questions by the lovely Rebecca of bookishlyrebecca.
What’s one movie you’d love to see adapted into a novel?
This is actually a pretty hard question for me because so many of the movies I love are based off books to begin with! I absolutely love the movie, New Year’s Eve, and I think it could make for a fun short story collection.
What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas. This sounds super cheesey, but I love Christmas not just for the presents (your girl loves some Barnes and Noble gift cards), but more for the cozy and excited vibes of the season. Christmas movies, baking, reading with a mug of hot chocolate in comfy pajamas, good food, family, shopping, just the joy overall!
Who is your current favorite blogger or someone whose posts you always look forward to reading?
Lately, I’ve been really looking forward to Literary Sea’s content both on her blog and Instagram!