Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat

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Joey Stark
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Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat

Post by Joey Stark » Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:59 pm

Title of the book: Leah on the Offbeat
Authors: Becky Albertalli
Series: (Creekwood #2)
Genres: LGBTQ*, Young Adult
Warnings: Definitely a young adult but upper teens and above - a LOT of swearing

Leah on the Offbeat is the follow-up to the wonderful 'Simon and the Homosapians Agenda'.

It's senior year and Leah already feels out of place in her friendship group, but with prom approaching, university looming and relationships changing, will she get left behind or find out more about herself than she could have imagined. An angsty teen romance written with humour.

Okay so I really enjoyed this book, in fact - I read it in two days (one of those being Christmas Eve) because it was so natural and easy to read. If you've read book 1 about Simon, then you fall in to Albertalli's casual style of writing gently and the pages seem to fly by. I wanted something that would be enjoyable but not hard work that I could finish quickly before I inevitably got more books for Christmas and here I really succeeded.

Leah is an awesome character. She acutely reminds me of someone I know and I don't think that's accidental. She's a recognisable character. I think everyone either had aspects of Leah in themselves or can see Leah in other people, especially at age 17. She's self-deprecating, cynical, sarcastic, angsty, nerdy, self-conscious, unapologetic and throws out the same amount of Harry Potter references as I do in my own self-monologue e.g. more than is healthy/just the right amount.

The second big plus for this book is a thumbs up for bi representation. It's something I don't see that much and didn't even really realise that until I read this and thought about it. LGBTQ representation is ALL good but I think bisexual people often get left out. It was nice to see the series move from a gay male character to a bi female character. There was even a non-binary gender reference thrown in very casually but with a positive light so that was also refreshing to see.

The other great thing Albertalli did in Leah on the Offbeat is the same magic she pulled with Simon. She completely and with pinpoint accuracy transports you back to that time in high school when the 'little' things that as adults we ignore or forget about were EVERYTHING. They used to be our world and it's easy to forget that. Both these books made me remember how all-consuming it feels to be a teenager and to be navigating family, friends and relationships at that time.

Overall a good book for LGBTQ representation, a great, relatable main character and a very enjoyable and funny undemanding read. It made me glad I've started to be open to young adult books again.
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