Title: Leah on the Offbeat
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publication date: April 24, 2018
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Date read: June 3, 2018
My rating: ★★★★✩
“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?”
First of all, I loved Simon vs. when it first came out and I was super excited to hear that Becky Albertalli was writing a sequel! Even though I’m more of a fantasy reader, I really enjoy a good contemporary novel, and Becky Albertalli never disappoints me. This book was everything I thought it would be and I absolutely loved it! Also, I have both the English and Dutch edition (I did read the book in English though) because I just couldn’t resist that Dutch cover, which you can see on the picture above. It’s so cute, isn’t it?!
Leah on the Offbeat tells the story of Leah Burke, Simon’s best friend in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Leah is an only child of a single mom and she’s a lot less privileged than that of her friends. It’s the end of senior year and everyone is excited for prom and graduation, but Leah is struggling with the fact that her friend group is starting to fall apart. Not only is she bi — which she hasn’t told her friends, only her mom knows — she also realises that she loves one of her friends more than she expected.
So, the end of senior year is coming closer and everyone is thinking about prom and the university they’re going to next year. Leah has never been in a relationship before and never really thought about it much, but now prom is coming closer and everyone is talking about their dates. This really puts a lot of pressure on the group and on Leah, especially since Leah is starting to get feelings for one of her female friends.
This book is a little bit more focused on the characters instead of the plot, but I didn’t mind at all. Leah was a very interesting character to read about. I do have to say that I found it difficult to connect with her in the beginning of the book, since she’s a really negative/sarcastic thinker, gets angry all the time and I just had a hard time liking her. As the story continues, I began relating to her more and I really started to enjoy the story better. Leah may be a very sarcastic person, but she says what she thinks and is always completely honest, which I really admire.
“Imagine going about your day knowing someone’s carrying you in their mind. That has to be the best part of being in love- the feeling of having a home in some else’s brain.”
It was so much fun reading about all the characters from Simon vs. I just loved the parts with Simon and Bram (those were definitely my favourite parts of the book!) and it was great to see how all the characters were doing in senior year, a year after the ending of Simon vs. I love how diverse Becky Albertalli’s books always are, and this book was no different. The representation for the LGBTQ and POC community was really well-done!
The ending felt a bit forced, though, since it was really short and everything happened so fast. I wish there would be more cute and fluffy scenes like the ones at the ending, but who knows, maybe Becky will write a third book in the series (I know I would read it!). In conclusion, I really enjoyed reading this novel. Even though there were some aspects I didn’t like or had a hard time relating to, this was a really fun and quick read and I definitely recommend it!