REVIEW | Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Hey! Yeah, it’s been a while. I’m quite busy and so I don’t have the time or the energy to make posts recently. I’ve also been in a bit of a reading slump, as well. I’m trying to get back into the habit of reading but it’s quite difficult!

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Synopsis:

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.

Review:

I know this book has received a fair amount of backlash, and I don’t think the backlash is misplaced, however I did really love this book. I think Leah and her type of anxiety are extremely relatable. I am also super happy to see a fat woman getting a conventially attractive girl and being in a happy relationship. As someone who is gay and fat, this is extremely rare to see in young adult books, and it’s especially rare to see it done positively and so for these reasons this book meant a whole lot to me

I loved seeing Simon again, I loved seeing his relationship again. I just love being taken back into the world that these characters are built into. It feels like a hug.

There were some things that I don’t think were positive, like when Leah told her love interest that you can’t be a little bit bisexual and although I took it as Leah being upset that her love interest didn’t want to commit to her, I think an explanation later on in the book where Leah could apologize would have been a nice addition because despite understanding her reasons for this, readers who are unsure about sexuality should know that it’s okay to feel the way they do. I also understand that people thought she acted in an unfair way, but as someone who is insecure too and deeply feels the need to be the best and to be good enough, I understand why she turned her hurt into anger and although again I wish Leah would have apologized for the way she behaves later on, I otherwise like this addition to the book. I think it’s okay for a character to be problematic, as long as this problematic thing is acknowledged, which I don’t think it really was outside of Leah’s own head

I gave this book a four of five stars and it’s probably going to be one that I re-read over and over again because I love hearing about her experiences being fat, coming to terms with her own sexuality and discovering her feelings that she has for her love interest. It was just heartwarming, and I really liked them together as a couple.

Until next time,
Alyx

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