Title: Leah on the Offbeat
Author: Becky Albertalli
Series: Creekwood #2
“I swear, people can’t wrap their minds around the concept of a fat girl who doesn’t diet. Is it that hard to believe I might actually like my body?”
Leah Burke, best friend of Simon Spier (you know, from that other book) is a kick-ass drummer in a kick-ass girl band at her High School. But not everything in Leah’s life is kick-ass. She’s a closeted bisexual, even though her BFF Simon is openly gay. She’s a closeted artist and when events unfurl that has her otherwise rocksolid friend group suddenly fracturing, Leah doesn’t know what to do. It’s also not helpful when she keeps having confusing feelings about someone in the friend group that could end up splitting them all apart even further.
Oh, and prom is just around the corner. What to wear??
I was a big fan of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited, but I was a wee bit conflicted when it came to Leah’s side of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I love Leah Burke’s sassy character, but sometimes she just intentionally makes life harder on herself where I’d be sat thinking “WTF are you doing girl??!” But I guess you can’t always see straight when life is slowly spinning out of control.
But the story itself is cute, emotional and a brilliantly funny coming-of-age YA contemporary that deals with relevant issues and is portrayed rather realistically. And of course it’s just great being back in the #Simonverse again with characters you’ve grown to love throughout the other books.
But the story also deals with the problems and difficulties about choosing your future path when it comes to college. How tight-knit friends deal with having to leave each other and move to different places, not being able to see each other every day. It’s the scary part about growing up and realising that things will change very soon.
But all in all, I enjoyed the heck out of this book, though it needed that little extra something in order to receive that final star. But it’s always great to have a protagonist that isn’t flawless and who have a body like most do these days.
Preach Albertalli, preach!
Would I recommend this book?
Yes. Yes I would.
To fans of Simon and Molly, but also to those who like sassy female protagonists with a soft heart, and those who just enjoy a lovely, humorous YA contemporary that deals with sexuality, secret crushes and friendship.