What’s it about?
One year after Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda took place, Leah is surrounded by happy and not so happy couples and still trying to figure out where she belongs, what college she wants to go to and if she’ll ever fall in love.
What I think about it
It took me long enough to finally read Leah on the Offbeat. I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda three or four years ago in German and I remember really liking it. It was one of my very first LGBTQIA+ books and I found it incredibly tender and fluffy.
However, I didn’t particularly like Leah on the Offbeat and here’s why:
The writing style
I was expecting the same style as in Simon but it felt much more chaotic. Single scenes seemed to be slapped together without a proper bridge linking them and I had a hard time following. I often had to go back and check where the characters are at the moment and who was present because I felt as though this wasn’t described enough.
On the topic of description: there wasn’t enough for my taste. Every reader is different of course so this dialogue-heavy read might just be up your street but I have a hard time following if it’s mostly dialogue and barely any description.
Texts the characters sent each other weren’t highlighted or marked in the e-book format I read it in which didn’t help matters.
I barely recognised any of the characters they way they were written. Granted, it has been some time since I’ve read Simon but the characters behaved so differently that I was having a hard time matching up dialogue with characters.
What makes Leah Leah is her personality of course. The snark, the sarcasm, her confidence, the fact that she is an amazing drummer. Leah is damn cool and I love her to bits. Only, in her own book it seemed kinda forced? Over the top? As though all she could do was being pissed at everyone? No, not pissed, disgruntled, indifferent and slightly pissed. Of course there is so much more to her character but it didn’t come across properly. At least to me. It felt as though Leah had been reduced to her snark and sarcasm.
The story arc
The story was flat and nothing really happened, it just flowed on, scene after scene. Homecoming was – like in so many American teen novels – the climax and most important night.
What did I like?
A happy ending and the fact that the word bisexual was being used so often in the book! Let’s get that rep out there!
And of course I told my mum I’m bisexual, even though none of my friends know.
I’m very sorry but that was literally all I loved? I was really looking forward to reading this book and I think I had a lot of expectations, especially after Simon. In the end Leah on the Offbeat disappointed me.
Leah on the Offbeat features an amazing main character who was written very out of character in my opinion. The writing style as a whole was too jumpy for my taste, the single scenes didn’t fit together neatly and the story itself was kind of flat. All in all, I didn’t particularly like this book.
- Author: Becky Albertalli
- Age: 14+
- Pages: 241 (e-book)
- Publisher: Harper Collins
- Release Date: April 24, 2018
- ISBN: 978-0-0626-4382-7
Even though Leah on the Offbeat didn’t resonate with me there are some recs I’d like to share!
Incredibly sweet, bit of drama of course, well-written and some of my favourite LGBTQIA+ reads!