Posted in book reviews

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2) – Becky Albertalli

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.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

I REPEAT, THIS REVIEW CONTAINTS SPOILERS.

I am so disappointed in this.

I found Leah instantly unlikable. I found her to be petty and incredibly mean, especially towards Abby. I hated how she didn’t like Abby because Abby was pretty, and how she was incredibly salty towards everyone else because they happened to have a bit more money than her. But you know, I got it. I tried to understand Leah, like yes it must be upsetting for her to be not as fortunate and to feel as if she was missing out, but I wanted this to develop throughout the book?

Did it? Heck no. Leah continued to be whiny and mean throughout the whole book, part from a few glimpsing moments, and ultimately I did not like her. What I think really put the nail in the coffin was when Abby came out as bisexual to Leah, she described herself as a ‘little bit bi’. This was a tremendous moment for her. She’d come out to her cousins or whatever, but she had only recently started figuring this part of her sexuality out, and Leah verbally attacked her. She said to Abby that it wasn’t possible to be a ‘little’ bit bi, she should just come out and say she is bisexual, because if not it sounds like she’s ashamed. I mean, excuse me Leah? You’ve, essentially, been hiding the fact that you’re bisexual from everyone and yet you’re accusing Abby of being ashamed? Like no one is forcing you to define your sexuality to them so stop telling Abby how it is she has to define hers. A few pages later Leah mentions that “gender is a social construct” and I’m like ?? Leah if you’re on board with that how do you not understand the sexuality is fluid?? And it is possible to be a little bit bi?? Like Abby might have a strong preference for men, but likes some women too? Like don’t be a dick Leah.

Once again, this could’ve been good, if Leah developed past this point. Sure she apologises to Abby (who basically acted like nothing freaking happened, she just takes all of Leah’s shit) but we never really see her grow past this. That’s what’s annoying. We never really see Leah grow. She’s just constantly bitchy and horrible when something isn’t done the way she wants. THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE BOOK. It got tiring.

Also I could hardly remember most of these characters from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and this book didn’t really do much in reestablishing them. It was like so this is that person and this at that person, and eventually my memory was jogged, but I definitely feel like if I were reading this without reading Simon, I wouldn’t care about half those characters. It’s just the memory (although not a lot of it) of those characters from Simon that had me invested.

And wtf?? Like she ruined Nick’s character?? I don’t remember him being so . . . idk, pathetic?? Constantly getting drunk and moping and just being a complete wet wipe of a character. ugh. NOPE.

THE FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS?? ALL SO CATTY?? I can’t. Like just making fun of Taylor? Being horrible to Abby? I just couldn’t deal.

The ending…what cheese. Skipped time, went to some lovey dovey email that made everything seem perfect. Like the message seemed to hint that Leah had gone through some character development?? but like???? what do I care or know since we didn’t actually see it through this 300 and whatever freaking pages? SO FRUSTRATING.

And then yeah, everyone else who was tossed to the side for the point of the MC’s romance conveniently all got paired off with each other because apparently everyone has to be in a relationship…

Can someone give me a map to the plot?? thanks. I’m a bit lost.

Yep. So disappointed with this.

ONE STAR

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