My reading tips this week is the cute and funny, while also dealing with serious topics, Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I binge-read this book since it made me so happy to be back in the wonderful universe of Simon Spier!
So, this book actually focus on Simon’s friend Leah Burke, but still it feels a lot like a sequel to my oh so loved Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I love Becky Albertalli’s writing style, it’s so good and addictive! I also love all the diversity in her books, and that we get to see a f/f-romance. But what I loved absolutely most was getting to read about Simon again. I never even realized how much I’ve missed him and the rest of the characters until I started reading Leah on the Offbeat. Every time Simon appeared, I got this goofy, happy smile all over my face. And Simon and “Blue” (don’t want to make any spoilers in case you haven’t read Simon vs. yet) were the perfect couple! There were so many cute scenes with them, and Blue’s promposal must be the best ever, it was pure literary perfection!
Plot-wise, this book takes place one year after the events following Martin’s blackmail of Simon and Simon and “Blue” becoming a couple. To be honest, there isn’t that much of a story in this book though, it’s mostly focusing on what everyone is up to this year and their plans after graduation (lots and lots of graduation angst!).
I also have to admit that I didn’t really connect with Leah. Her character sometimes came off as really mean and selfish and with double-standards. But on the other hand it was so refreshing with her sarcasm and humor and badass attitude and that Becky allowed her to be a totally messy person with all her flaws. There were also some scenes that I found a bit problematic from a queer perspective. And to be honest, the romance felt a bit forced. There were not a lot of cute moments between them, except for the adorable scene in the end, but I want more to really invest in them as a couple.
So a little bit of mixed feelings for the book, but nevertheless it was a good story with a great mix of feel-good, romance and friendship and serious topics like racism, bisexuality, the coming-out struggle, body insecurity and more. But most of all, I loved it for giving me more of Simon and “Blue”! I am so hoping for a next book where we can get to follow Simon and his friends during college too, and all in all, I highly recommend this book.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Becky Albertalli