By: Cait Marie
I have been struggling to write this review for days. Leah on the Offbeat, Becky Albertalli’s newest release, came out last week and I had been waiting months for it. It. Was. Wonderful. I love Albertalli’s books. You all know I’m obsessed with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, well, this is the sequel from his best friend Leah’s perspective.
Leah on the Offbeat takes place the year after Simon. They’re seniors, preparing for college and trying to make the most of the time they have left together. Being an Albertalli book, this is about Leah trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. There’s a lot of internal struggle with not feeling good enough, and it’s just very relatable to anyone who has ever felt this way.
I took notes while reading this book, which was a new thing I tried specifically for this review. Given her past books, I anticipated having a lot of thoughts, and I ended up writing out an entire page, front and back. There were so many moments that made me say “me.” I felt like I was reading about a slightly more cynical version of myself. From her TARDIS socks to her obsession with Harry Potter and love of Coke, not to mention all the struggles she faces… it felt like I was reading about a younger version of myself.
If you like Albertalli’s books, I really recommend reading this. There were somethings I wasn’t particularly fond of, which I will discuss in the spoiler section, but overall I loved the book. It was another great YA LGBT contemporary!
There’s not a whole lot to discuss in this section, but I did want to go more in depth about the part of the plot that wasn’t my favorite. I just feel like this book didn’t really match up with Simon very well. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it just felt a little off due to Leah’s “crushes.” In Simon, Leah becomes distant when Nick and Abby start dating because she liked Nick. However, in this book, that’s kind of pushed to the side and made to seem like the whole thing was actually because she liked Abby. I don’t know, I just felt like it was a little pushed to get this happy relationship for Leah. I love both characters, and I don’t have a problem with them being together, it just didn’t feel right because of the first book. It didn’t feel as natural as Simon and Blue, for example. Maybe they just set my standards too high.
Again, I still absolutely loved this book. It just felt a little off in that perspective. Was it just me or did you feel the same? Let me know below!