Book Review #14: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Finished on March 26, took 2 days to read
3 stars on Goodreads, actually a 3.5
Genre: Young Adult
Rating 4/4 Young Adult
Leah on the Offbeat is a follow up novel to one of my favorite books from last year: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I devoured Simon in one night, and immediately watched the movie (not as good as the book but still fun). So I was very excited to visit the characters from the point of view of Leah, one of Simon's best friends from the first novel.
We follow the Creekwood gang as they navigate the final semester of their last year in high school. Simon and Blue are still together, everyone is still friends. Leah is still in her all girl rock band. We quickly learn that Leah has figured out she is bisexual, but has told no one. The object of her affections is another gal on the perimeter of the group, the beautiful and bubbly Abby. Abby is currently dating a boy, so Leah buries her feelings for Abby way down inside. Leah doesn't want to ruin friendships, but unfortunately she starts lashing out when she can't express her emotions.
Leah is not my favorite character in the world. She is moody, withholds her emotions, and keeps secrets when honesty could help her out in a lot of situations. Sometimes she is difficult for the sake of being difficult. I think I don't like her character because I see so much of my teenaged self in her, and only the parts I didn't like back then. So I read this book with a lot of eye rolling. I remember trying on prom dresses with my mom too, and being a total bitch about it.
But once I got over the angstiness of it all, this was a fun revisit to the Creekwood universe. I loved every second that I got to see Simon through interactions with Leah, and I would LOVE to read some sort of Simon goes to college follow up. Maybe that is already in the works? I know there is another book in the universe about Abby's gay cousin, which is already on my list to read.
I hope Becky Albetalli keeps writing, because her take on teen relationships in the LGBTQ space are quite refreshing and we need more of those stories in the world!