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Leah on the Offbeat

Review

Leah on the Offbeat

Even though Leah Burke seems to drum perfectly on the beat, her life outside of music seems to be taking a different turn. Feeling like an outsider in her own friend group, she struggles with her home life, her body size and, most of all, her bisexuality. Reaching the end of her senior year, she and her friends have many decisions to make and she suddenly doesn’t know what to do as tensions begin to fracture the group apart. However, as she attempts to make things right, she realizes she might be falling for the wrong person. A perfect companion to the hit SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT gives Simon’s best friend a spotlight as she deals with struggles of first love, prom, college and senior-year angst.

"Leah brings the humor she was known for in SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA and amplifies it....another amazing book from Becky Albertalli...."

After falling in love with Becky’s two previous books, LEAH was, without a doubt, one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I was excited to get to know Leah as a character more than from what we learned in the previous books. Of course, I also wanted to catch up with the other characters like Simon and Bram, who we got to know so well in SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. Overall, while LEAH ON THE OFF BEAT was not my favorite book in what Becky Albertalli calls the “Simonverse,” the book still did not disappoint and was just like Becky’s other books: fun, fluffy and absolutely hilarious.

LEAH ON THE OFF BEAT does an amazing job at connecting to the audience through not only the characters, but the settings and situations that they are thrown into, as well. The book was especially relatable to me because of the time of the year in which the book took place. The story takes place in the second semester of the characters’ senior year, where everyone is deciding colleges, getting prom fever and more. I just so happen to also be in the second semester of my senior year, going through the exact same events that I just described. When I first started LEAH ON THE OFF BEAT I was looking for a feel-good book, however, it became really cathartic for me to read about characters having similar experiences as I am now. One of the characters is even going to the same college as my close friend! Even if you are not a high school senior, I think everyone can find something to relate to. Each character offers a new experience and a new way to connect to the story no matter your age, gender, or sexuality.

Another thing Becky Albertalli does well is representation. Not only does she try to represent many different races and sexualities, but she also does an excellent job at normalizing queer relationships. Leah is bisexual herself and though I am not, I heard many bisexual reviewers were extremely happy with how the character was written and I recommend finding a review of someone who can personally connect to Leah’s experience.

Becky’s writing style is overall extremely addictive. As a main character, Leah brings the humor she was known for in SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA and amplifies it. She’s sarcastic, empowering and a secret softie, making her voice awesome to read. Overall, LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT is another amazing book from Becky Albertalli, perfect for fans of her previous books and those still in high school who want a relatable story with lovable characters. Becky has said repeatedly this is the final book for the “Simonverse,” making it the last we will see of them. While I’m sad to say goodbye, I’m excited to see what Becky will come up with next.

Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member on May 9, 2018

Leah on the Offbeat
by Becky Albertalli