Book: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertali
Rating: 2 stars
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.
When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
**You definitely need to read Simon before this one!
There wasn’t much plot that drove this book. It was more of us seeing Leah live her high school life out. Honestly I was fine with that though + I loved the diversity in this book!
Again I love Becky Albertali’s writing. It’s flowy and simple. I always get through her books so quickly.
Someone makes a racist comment in this book and that’s tackled so well! Leah immediately stands up and says something about that and that just made my heart warm.
Also the Simon and BF moments were so so adorable
I just don’t like Leah? Huge problem because she’s the narrator and MC. She’s funny and cynical and that’s exactly my type of humour but there’s a line with that and she crosses that for me. Sometimes she’s downright mean, rude and obnoxious. She barely ever apologises and when things don’t go her way she just throws a tantrum. We learn to understand that she’s self-conscious and that’s how she deals with things, but pushing everything away isn’t the way to go especially when the people around her genuinely just wanted to help her! Her mother was so sweet and her mothers boyfriend tried hard to get to know her, but she just decided she didn’t want to like him and therefore didn’t give him a chance. There was a lot of complaining from her and she didn’t try to resolve her issues.
There are some parts of Leah that I can definitely relate to, but a lot of things I just can’t. The main reason I don’t like her is that I would never do the things she did and they’re completely against what I believe in. Pushing away the people who care about you, no. Throwing a tantrum when you don’t get what you want, thereby making the other person feel guilty, no. Not giving someone a chance because you decide outright that you don’t want to like them? She’s not a bad person by any means. She’s sweet and caring at times, but her traits just go against what I believe in and that struck a nerve with me.
So no she isn’t a bad person. NOT AT ALL. Yes I really dislike her character. As much as I do dislike her though, I see where she’s coming from and I do understand why she does what she does. It’s just not the way I would deal with the situation at all. I think (and hope!) that some people may be able to identify with her (or at least most/some or her) because I understand that this is just the way some people deal with their problems. I just would hate to be on the receiving end of that.
This felt a lot like a drama. I don’t like drama TV shows. They’re not for me and this felt a bit too much like that. I also felt that it was forced and rushed. There are some cute moments and it made me smile seeing them happy, but a huge reason I didn’t like it was for reasons I can’t say (not without spoiling). The only thing I will say is that the relationship happens/starts when one of her best friends is so incredibly heartbroken and she’s more focused on this new relationship then being their for her friend. Another thing I wouldn’t do.
A shorter, bullet point review can be found on my Goodreads here.
Talk To Me
Have you read Leah on the Offbeat? What about Becky Albertali’s other books? Is it on your TBR? Are your opinions the same as mine? Or are they totally different?
Until next time,