Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Earlier this year, I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I absolutely loved it. Then I read The Upside of Unrequited and I loved that book as well. Becky Albertalli is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, so I was very excited to read Leah on the Offbeat and it did not disappoint.
This book has a very similar rom-com type feel as Becky Albertalli's previous two books in the Simon-verse, but this one focused on the salty and sassy Leah Burke. As a kick-ass drummer, Leah Burke is usually on beat, but she couldn't say the same thing about her life. She's the only child of a young, single mum (just like Gilmore Girls) and she's always felt like she was a little on the outside of her friend group. On top of that, while her mum knows she's bisexual, she hasn't been able to tell her friends yet. Not even Simon — her openly gay best friend. The end of senior year is fast approaching and cracks are starting to form in their group and tensions are running high. And to make everything even more distressing, Leah realizes she might love someone more than she thought she would.
This book was a super fun read and had great pacing. I started reading this book at 9:00 pm a few nights ago thinking I'll just read for 30 minutes and then go to sleep. Before I knew it, it was 2:30 am and I had finished the book. So it's safe to say I couldn't get enough! This book is like your classic "what happens before we all leave for college" teen read, which I'm a bit of a sucker for, and it felt very much like a coming of age movie, similar to Becky's other books. I loved revisiting many of the characters from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I really enjoyed reading from Leah's perspective. I do love a salty/snarky character every once in a while and even though Leah was a bit of a jerk sometimes, at least she was self-aware that she was being a jerk. I felt like I related a lot to Leah and how she thinks that everything is over when one thing goes wrong because this is how I felt in high school as well. I also loved that this was a book starring a bigger girl where her weight isn't focused on, which I think is great for young people to see in books.
That being said, while I did love reading this book, I feel like it wrapped up too quickly and perfectly. There were conflicts that didn't feel like they were fully resolved and we were cut-off right before they could (possibly) be addressed. It felt as if this book needed an extra 20 or so pages to fully wrap up the story. With this considered I gave Leah on the Offbeat 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
That's it for my non-spoiler-y thoughts, so if you haven't read the book I hope you have a lovely rest of your day. But if you have read the book let's talk spoilers!
Bye people who haven't read the book!
Hi there, people who've read the book!
As I mentioned in my non-spoiler-y section, I loved revisiting these characters, particularly Simon and Bram who are the absolute cutest. The promposal! I'm usually not a fan of promposals because I've always thought they were a bit silly, but how Bram did it based on a Love Actually fanfiction that Simon had written was so sweet. I love seeing a gay couple doing all the silly high school cliches that usually you only see hetero couples do in stories. And they're bringing back the Jacque and Blue emails for when they do long distance in college! I have and always will ship these two cuties.
Speaking of couples, I was a bit surprised when Nick and Abby broke up! I initially was quite sad when Abby broke up with Nick, probably because I have movie Nick and Abby stuck in my head who were great together. But as Nick went from being super sad to becoming a bit of an asshole because he was sad, I felt less bad for really wanting Leah and Abby to be together. Their road trip to visit the college they will both be attending next year was so much fun. I mean, until Abby screwed up by assuming Leah was straight and stole her first kiss thinking they were two straight girls. They're both struggling with their feelings for each other throughout the book, which is very relatable no matter who you love. And post-prom Abby and Leah are the cutest!
That said the ending did feel like it was too short and too perfect. In Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda Leah gives Simon a lot of crap for not telling her that he was gay, so I thought it was a bit odd that this was never mentioned when he finds out that Leah basically did the same thing. It also felt as if Simon was a little too happy when he and Bram walked in on Leah and Abby, considering that he had spent most of the book since Abby broke up with Nick trying to convince Abby she made a mistake and he had thought Leah was helping him. I think Simon would still be super happy for them — I mean, it's Leah and Abby — but I would have liked a little more dialogue addressing this.
That's all for my thoughts on Leah on the Offbeat. What did you enjoy most about this book? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome!