Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Date read: 10th May 2018 – 10th May 2018
Page count: 343
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Format: Paperback (Library)
I didn’t expect to be reading this so soon – it’s a new release, and I’m trying to not buy any physical books (mostly due to lack of space/money…). Thankfully, though, I spend so much time in the library that I managed to notice that this was in there, and immediately grabbed it before anyone else could steal my baby.
I loved Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Leah On The Offbeat is a spinoff of that book, so there was never a question that I wasn’t going to love this. And oh my god, did I love it. It’s even better than Simon, and that’s saying something.
I reviewed Simon here – it was actually one of the very first reviews I ever posted on this blog, so it has a special part in my heart. If you want to read that, go ahead, but this review won’t spoil that book!
First off, this book was so beautifully gay. Leah, Simon Spier’s best friend (the titular Simon from the first book) and all around badass, is bisexual, but only her mother knows, and she doesn’t want anyone else to find out, despite her world being so gay pride-ful (not a word, but bear with me!).
The book takes place in her senior year of college, and also introduces a whole new list of characters to the universe, which I really enjoyed reading about. Sometimes spinoffs work with the same cast of characters – this made it feel more like Leah had a proper existence outside of Simon’s life, and, by extension added more depth to other characters too.
The romance is also incredibly cute in this book. There’s a line in the last few chapters that sums up everything I feel about it (but I won’t type it out here because it’s a massive spoiler) – but it’s beautiful, it’s gay, and it is so so needed in todays young adult audience. The casual portrayal, along with the elements of LGBT life that most experience, really makes this convincing.
Leah is a character I was hoping we’d hear more from after Simon, so this was a gift from God to me. It’s now on my ‘favourites’ shelf for Goodreads, with a strong 5 star rating, and a whole lot of love, and praise I’ll never quite find the words to give.