*Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the first book in this series, there are spoilers below*
Title: Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2)
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
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 was so excited after reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda that Leah was getting her own book! She was definitely one of my favourite characters and I loved being able to get inside her head.
After reading this book, though, I think I have a love-hate relationship with Leah. Sometimes her abrupt mood changes and hard attitude threw me off. I just wanted to shake her and be like “STOP IT” sometimes. It was frustrating because she even distances herself from Simon, who is supposed to be her best friend. Leah almost felt disconnected from the others and a lot of the spotlight was stolen by Simon, Bram, Nick, and Abby. Speaking of Simon and Bram, I loved getting to see more of them and their growing relationship! They are the actual cutest and total scene-stealers.
Basically, the whole book revolves around applying to schools and prom, as well as Leah kind of figuring out what she wants and who she likes. She does come out of her shell a little bit and decides to do the whole prom thing, so I guess I can give her some credit there. I won’t spoil who she ends up with because that ruins the fun of reading, but I wish there was more chemistry between them. It felt like a forced relationship and for me it kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. I was kind of disappointed in how the book ended as well.
I will say that I love Becky’s writing and dialogue. It cracks me up every time and my face hurts from smiling while I read her books. The dialogue was spot on and I loved Leah’s inner monologues and sarcastic quips! That girl definitely knows how to go on some long rants and I enjoy every bit of it. Overall, this was a cute book, but I think I enjoyed Leah more in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.