Book review: Leah on the Offbeat
We all know Simon’s story by now we even know Victor’s story……..This is Leah’s story.
First a quick Synopsis taken from Wikipedia:
Leah Burke is a drummer, usually on the beat drumming in the band Emoji. However, Leah has kept something from all of her friends, even from her openly gay best friend, Simon: she is bisexual. The only person to know about her sexuality is her mother, whom Leah is very close to. When her friend group starts to rock, Leah doesn’t know what to do, with prom and graduation coming up. In between her friends fighting and graduation, Leah then realises she might like one of her friends more than she first thought.
We first meet Leah in Simon vs….were she is very selfish and is mad at Simon for no reason at all and shuns him for a good chunk of the novel. So i wasn’t sure what to expect going into this novel.
The novel is set a year after Simon vs…… the characters are now seniors year. Much of it focuses on Leah’s bisexuality which is the point of the novel but is not hinted at in the first novel, and her relationship with another well known female character where her bisexuality was also not hinted at. Its very out of nowhere these two become a thing. It would be like at the end of the Harry Potter books Heromine gets with Ginny instead of Ron it just doesn’t make sense. Am not saying this story shouldn’t be told but for the narrative of the story would of been better to introduce a new character with Simon and Co as supporting characters rather then re-write history which was established in the first novel. But still young adult novels where the main character is bisexual is rare so shall give the author a pass as she means well.
This book is funny and well written. Its a very easy read but that is to be expected as Simon was a well written book too! Also just like in Simon Vs, the characters are very diverse but again expected as there are the same characters. Am not going to say too much about the actual book as also like Simon part of the joy is finding out who the secert crush is but I am going to talk about the ending. I loved it they all went off to college and guess what? The characters put themselves first in choosing their colleges, not their relationships at last something aimed at teens that shows your College decision is your own and you don’t have to follow a boy/girl. Its your choice, your future! saying that Leah does end up going to the same college as her love interest but Simon and Bram don’t and seeing that decision play out again is one of the highlights. Which kinda brings us to the major flaw of Leah on the Offbeat. Leah herself is not that likable or interesting at points its like she is playing a supportive role to her own show.
But anyone who has read Simon vs should give this a read as its a great catch-up if you want to know what Simon and Bram are like one year on. Anyone though who is looking for a strong bisexual character I hope you guys have better representation out there.