Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli | Book Review



Title: Leah on the Offbeat
Author: Becky Albertalli
Released: 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★☆

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When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually right on the beat - but real life is a little harder to manage. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And she hasn't mustered the courage to tell her friends she's bisexual, not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. 

So Leah really doesn't know what to do when her rock-solid friendship group starts to fracture. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high, and it's hard for Leah when the people she loves are fighting - especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended... 

Blurb from the UK paperback edition

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When I first finished this book back in may, I gave it 4 stars, but now that I am thinking about it more and have discussed it with a few people, I now have to say I think it is worth more of a 3.5 star rating. 

This book had big shoes to fill for me. It is no secret that Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda is one of my favourite books and one I go back to whenever I need a pickup. So I was expecting similar things from Leh but I think my expectations were too high as it just didn't have quite the same effect and left me slightly disappointed. 

Don't get me wrong, this is a great contemporary and I still really enjoyed it. I liked the friendship worries, challenges at home and all the thoughts that Leah has a teen are really relatable for me as someone of a similar age going through similar things. Although, I was doing my exams at the same time Leah was when I read this and she seemed a lot less stressed than I was! 

There were just a few too many things that fell flat for me, meaning I can't call this one of my new favourites like I really wanted to. 

** WARNING! This next bit may get spoilery - I'll try my best not to give too much away but the hints are pretty big so if you are like me and like to just jump into a book knowing very little then stop reading and come back when you have read the book! ** 

Whilst I am all for the teen emotions in books as let's face it, the mood swings happen a lot as a teen, I sometimes found Leah to be a bit too much of a b**** when it really wasn't needed and it just made me dislike her as a character. 

One of the things I read contemporary's for is the romance and this for me was one of the biggest let downs. I didn't see it as genuine, especially coming from reading Simon as there was no hint of this what so ever. I felt like this was just put in here to add more to the story when really I would have prefered to see new characters added for the romance instead (if you've read it you'll hopefully get what I mean, if not then I am really sorry but that probably made no sense what so ever!)

I also did not like how they made a villain out of one of my favourite characters from Simon to make the romance happen, I really didn't think it was necessary. This aspect was kind of left with a small mention at the end just to tie up the strings and I would have much rather seem more of a proper ending to this part of the story.

** POTENTIAL SPOILERS OVER - you can now keep on reading! **

What I did love was seeing Simon and his gang again. If you haven't read Simon and were thinking of going straight into this I would highly suggest not as you will get the biggest spoiler and completely ruin Simon. Also if you haven't read Simon, where have you been? You are really missing out. 

So there we have my rather brutally honest review... I did like this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a YA contemporary, but with my high expectations and love for Simon, it didn't quite reach the mark. 

What were your thoughts?

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