When I saw the announcement for this book, I knew I wanted to read it. I love Simon’s book and Leah is his best friend, so yeah. However, I had to wait. I put in on my wish list for a summer swap, but I read it as soon as I could. Why? Because of all the drama about this book on Twitter.Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2) by Becky Albertalli
Published by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray on 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.
The book started off pretty fine. However, I quickly got annoyed with Leah. This is not an attack on people who recognize themselves in her, but Leah was a bit too much for me. She made drama out of every single little thing, came across as selfish and a fake friend and ugh. Come on please, get over it and move on. I like her way better as a side character than as a main character. She got on my nerves.
But yay for Simon! Thankfully we got our fair share of him in this book, otherwise I didn’t know whether I would have finished it or not.
The story itself was a little shallow. Nothing really happened, except prom prep and drama. It was an okay read, but not as enjoyable as the prequel.
And then the drama. Yes, I understood the drama on social media about this. Leah’s reaction to something someone said to her. Confessed to her. Like WOW. It applies to you? I mean, your sexuality? Please think this trough next time. Or even better, APOLOGISE. This particular scene never got a mention later in the book and I think this was a major letdown. This situation sets a very bad example. Of course nothing is perfect, nobody is perfect. But this is the biggest flaw of the entire book.
Oh well. The story was nice, the reading was easy. But, it’s more like a 3 star rating for me. I doubted between 3 and 3.5, but after everything that has been said – which I didn’t think about before but couldn’t agree more to – I have to lower my rating. To be honest, I hope Becky Albertalli will be exploring new things within her next books, because I’m getting quite bored by them now. I know the trick, I would love to see somethign new since all her books are related to each other and are more or less the same. I really really hope she develops herself as a writer by trying out new things.