Leah on the Offbeat // A sweet YA romance for Simon fans

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31180248Leah 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.


What I Liked

Love Leah’s character. She is tough on the outside and doesn’t like to show her emotions, but she is soft on the inside. She really cares for her friends, such as Simon and Abby. Leah has a sense of justice and stands for what she believes in. She also values perfection. She is a creative spirit who loves drumming and drawing, though she doesn’t recognize how good she is at either.

Love the relationship between Leah and her mother. Leah’s mother is young, single and struggling to make ends meet. This influences Leah to make frugal choices. We can tell how much Leah’s mom loves Leah. I love the dialogue between mother and daughter which flow so well.

Love the cameos from Becky Albertalli’s previous books. We spend a lot of time with Simon and Blue (who are so, so cute) and even hear a bit about Molly and Cassie (from The Upside of Unrequited).

Love the writing because of how simple it is. It is light and humorous, and so easy and addictive to read.

What I Didn’t Like

At times it is hard to understand the motivations and actions of Leah’s love interest.

Spoilery bits below (highlight to reveal):

At some points in the story I am annoyed by how indecisive Abby is, and sometimes she strikes me as cruel. Also, I am a bit confused about the timeline as to when Abby began to like Leah vs. Nick. Did she ever like Nick at all? For these reasons I don’t fully get the chemistry between Leah and Abby, which makes it hard to stay engaged towards the end of the book.

The plot feels a bit unfocused in the beginning. For the first third of the book, I had no idea where the story is going. However, the book is so easy to get into because of the writing and Leah’s voice, so this wasn’t a big deal for me.

The Bottom Line: 3/5 stars

Whether or not you have read Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda, Leah on the Offbeat is a fun and adorable read.



Did you read Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda or watch the Love Simon movie? Have you read / are you planning to read this sequel?

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44 Replies to “Leah on the Offbeat // A sweet YA romance for Simon fans”

  1. Unfortunately not, I haven’t read (or watched) it. Being YA doesn’t really make it a priority in my tbr. I think “Keeping you a secret” by Julie Ann Peters deals with the same issues.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Uh oh! Haha it’s too great of a feeling to shop for more books, isn’t it? I try my best but don’t always succeed! Usually I try to stay away from book stores and libraries in general haha 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful review, Sophie! I’m glad to hear you liked Leah’s voice in this story and yay for the great relationship with her mom, I love it so much when there’s an emphasis on that in books. I can’t wait to read that one 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marie ❤ Yes I also really love it when there is an emphasis on non-romantic relationships such as the ones with family. Leah and her mom are some of my favourite parts of this book 🙂 Hope that you will enjoy this one and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this last week and also had trouble understanding the romantic plot line. The love interest was so different from Simon’s book. And there were some bad moments for the Bi representation.
    It felt like all of a sudden no one cared about Nick. It was a 3/5 for me too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Cassie, I’m glad to hear your thoughts – I guess I am not the only one who didn’t understand the romantic plot lol. I had trouble understanding Abby – was she or was she not in love with Nick in book #1? And yes, poor Nick, despite his thing with Taylor at the end, I didn’t think that he really got his happy ending.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did think that it was a drastic change from book 1! I would rather prefer that Abby had been in love with Nick and later developed feelings for Leah, than being dishonest with Nick in the first place.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Great review for this book Sophie, and I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. I really loved the relationship between Leah and her mother, I really like well-written family dynamics and this book definitely had that. Also I LOVED seeing more from Simon and Blue, they’re one of my favourite YA couples ever
    I definitely get what you mean about Abby being a little too indecisive at times but I dunno I did kind of get the relationship between her and Leah. I don’t think either of them were perfect in this book but they just fit well in my mind you know?
    Again great review 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Beth ❤
      Yes I love the non-romantic relationships in this book, especially the one between Leah and her mom. And Simon and Blue are as cute as ever!
      I was a bit confused by Abby because she seemed to be in love with Nick in book 1. Was she already thinking about Leah during that time too? But yes you are right that Abby isn't perfect and we shouldn't fault her for that. I guess I find Leah much more relatable than Abby in this book (which makes sense because Leah is the POV character haha 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I get what you mean, I’d like to think Abby was in love with Nick in the first book though, rather than just leading him on. Maybe her feelings for Leah only grew when they broke up I dunno.
        Ha, yeah I feel like we would have gotten more from Abby if we’d had her POV in this book. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I’d like to think that Abby had been in love with Nick and that her feelings gradually changed. Definitely agree that this book would benefit from a dual POV!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Woah, I am DEFINITELY reading Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I bought it as a Kindle book and plan to read it after the novel I’m reading right now. (I’m reading Omorphi by C. Kennedy. Haha, I’m so into queer romances. :D)

    That was a clever idea, to make spoiler comments invisible unless you highlight them. 🙂

    I’ll probably be able to write a better comment after I had a chance to read about Simon, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries! You absolutely don’t have to read the book before leaving a comment. I think you would love Simon vs if you enjoy reading books with LGBTQ characters 🙂 Hope that you’ll like this one!
      Lol thanks!! I don’t remember where I learned it from but it is nifty 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Great review Sieran! Glad that you enjoyed Simon Vs, and it was great to read your point of view on the book 🙂
      I added you on Goodreads! I think we are the same age (I’m also 27!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay!! I looked at the trailer for Love Simon, and LOL that they had to show it without spoiling who Blue is. The kissing scene at the end (also a clip found on YouTube) was actually sweet and not awkward. I tend to find kissing in movies awkward, so. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it was pretty ingenious how the Love Simon movie got around showing who Blue is until the very end. In general I felt the movie was a good representation of the novel. The kissing scene in the end is definitely very sweet- The entire movie theatre “awww”ed when I watched it haha. I would recommend this movie if you enjoyed the book 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am currently waiting for my eyes to heal, and when they do, I’m looking forward to watching Love, Simon! 😀 I am so fanboying Blue, ahahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

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