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. (Goodreads)
My rating: 4 stars
It was lovely. Definitely recommend.
When I finished Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I knew I needed to read Leah’s story too.
Leah on the Offbeat is a sweet, emotional follow-up to Simon’s story.
I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t as novel as Simon Vs. It didn’t feel as intense and necessary as Simon’s story. But it was fun. It was neat to see Leah’s perspective and a joy to see Simon in a happily-ever-after relationship.
Leah’s struggles with the end of high school and with the often inevitable friend group changes felt very real to me. The end of high school is tough with a lot of change: people preparing to go away to college or jobs and life as you know it transitioning to something different. While at times Leah’s character was a little annoying, she’s a teenager and teenagers are allowed to be emotional and make mistakes.
The ending too, put a huge grin on my face. It is seriously lovely.
Add in to all of this that I listened to the audio version narrated by Shannon Purser (yes, Barb from Stranger Things!). Her narration was nearly perfect. She was a rad pick to narrate Leah’s story.
Having more of Becky Albertalli’s writing out there in the world and another visit to Creekwood High School is definitely worth your time.