Leah On the Offbeat Book Review

Summary: 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.

Thoughts: I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t really enjoy this book since I wasn’t a big fan of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. This one was better than that one but not by a lot. While I loved what they tried to do with Leah, with the Bi representation and the body positivity I think it was half done.

I was so disappointed with the characters in this one, I was so excited to get the chance to delve further into them but it was strange. I felt that these were not the same characters we were given in the first book and the relationships that they had with each other were also off.

This book had so much potential with Leah coming out, her relationship with her mother, and her mixed feelings about graduating but none of that was really explored.

I couldn’t stand the romance aspect of this whole book. Like poor Garrett who just gets used for the whole book because Leah isn’t ready to come out. Did that really have to be the way things happened? She could’ve not said anything but still not used someone. I think that was just so stereotypical that I couldn’t get on board. Then there was the relationship with Abby that I also wasn’t fond of. Like calm down Leah, there is no reason to put her down because she doesn’t have her sexuality all figured out like you do.

If you loved Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda then you might enjoy this book. I kept trying to think if I was 14 reading this book would I enjoy it, would I find comfort in the representation of someone like me. When my response to that was probably not, it would hurt me that being Bi wasn’t portrayed as something positive and was being shown in a character that kind of used her sexuality as an excuse to hurt others. Because of this I can’t really recommend it because I’m not sure who would enjoy this book.

You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.