Monday, April 30, 2018

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Title: Leah on the Offbeat
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Penguin

Leah Burke - girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier's best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

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 mum, and her life is decidedly less privileged. 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.
Review by Nara

Leah on the Offbeat is a follow up novel to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda that focuses on one of the side characters, Leah, approximately a year following the original novel. With many of the characters from Creekwood High appearing once again in this novel, and obviously spoilers about who Blue is from Simon vs, I would highly recommend reading that novel first before getting started on Leah.

Becky Albertalli is so good at writing the young adult voice in her previous novels, and Leah's is no different. When you read about Leah in Simon, it was clear she was going to be a layered character and I'm very happy about the fact that she gets her own story to tell. I loved the portrayal of her relationship with her mother, and her voice was actually even more snarky than I thought it would be.

I LOVED that we got so much Simon and Blue! I mean, obviously Simon being her best friend, I knew he'd be appearing now and again, but I actually really enjoyed her interactions with Blue as well.

While I have to admit, I did enjoy Simon vs. and The Upside of Unrequited more than Leah on the Offbeat, it was still an excellently written novel with on-point diversity rep and discussion of current issues. Would 100% recommend.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 3/5