C.G. Drews's Reviews > Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, read-2018, young-adult

WOW okay I have so many opinions, some of them a smoosh of conflicting feels, but overall this was super cute! It's just nice being back with the gang?! And like the amount I cracked up (OUT LOUD) was phenomenal. I freaking adore books that make me laugh. I'm also like 97% devastated this is it for the Simon gang. I...I don't wanna say goodbye either?? Relating hard to Leah rn someone give me a bucket of ice cream to descend into and ne'er return.

(And if you haven't read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I WILL be saying "Blue's" proper name. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ You have been warned.)

+ So Leah is an...interesting narrator.
I admit she wasn't my favourite in Simon's book and this is purely because she can be really mean and she has a lot of double-standards. Like she FLAYED Simon for not coming out to her first...but she literally never let him know she was bi. And she knew she was bi since she was little. So??? Wtf, Leah. However I get that she's a messy person. She's flawed and brash. She hates being hurt and she loves really deeply so she covers that by pretending not to love at all. (Relatable omfg.)

Also there is A Scene™ where lean appears to be Queer Policing and it's hurt a lot of readers. I feel awkward having an opinion on that scene as I'm not bi? So all I'll say is (A) there's a lot to the context of it than JUST that, and (B) it still wasn't okay yeah. (view spoiler)

And while I'm here like "this isn't right and THIS could be problematic"...I also see the perspective of: These are teens who DON'T have all the answers and DON'T know everything about what they feel, especially about their sexualities. And that's super realistic. Messy lives need to be in books because life isn't perfect.

I just...I think it's fair to ask and demand kindness and apologies. I just. Yeah.

+ Ok but did I mention it was FUNNY!?
I laughed so much my dog thought I was wheezing to death. There are SO many cute nerd references, absolutely adorkable scenes, and just banter that made me fall over from smiling so much. I appreciated this so so much!! Leah and Bram literally bonded over roasting Simon's middle-school-dress-sense and it was beautiful. Also little Simon wrote GAY FANFIC and Bram is literally like "Omg what an adorable baby gay" and I just 😂😂😂. Too much perfect.

+ There was lots of stuff to just downright enjoy!
☆ Leah has a great mum/great relationship with her!
☆ Leah's not uber rich WHICH IS SO REFRESHING
☆ it features heavily the shifting dynamics of friend groups and I think that's important to talk about
☆ every time they came on page THEY STOLE THE SHOW I CAN'T EVEN
☆ Leah is a SLYTHERIN and this pleases me
☆ Someone said "I like your boots" #IUnderstoodThatReference
☆ there was lots of lovely diversity
☆ the writing is good and addictive and I just enjoy the author's style a lot
☆ Simon has like 300+ selfies with his dog on his phone

And other little things I didn't love?
☆ I didn't really connect to Leah because I don't understand why it's hard to be, um, nice I guess
☆ there were a lot of end-of-highschool cliches
(view spoiler)
☆ There wasn't a lot of plot ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
☆ I acknowledge the scenes that could be problematic
☆ there wasn't a lot of "awww cute!" moments between the f/f couple and I think we deserved a bit more than just, like, one scene at the end

So mixed bag, huh?! So much to love, yet so much that didn't make my heart sing. I just think Simon VS will always be my Ultimate Fav Albertalli book. What can live up to that cuteness and funniness. omg. I think it's okay to have books that are about messy people, but IDK. I value kindness so much (yEAH I'M STILL A SLTYERIN, FITE ME) so characters who don't care about it always have me giving a heavy side-eye.
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Reading Progress

July 20, 2016 – Shelved
July 20, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 19, 2018 – Started Reading
June 19, 2018 –
page 30
8.75% "the Simon/Bram cameos !!! I can't even 😍😍also Leah and Bram relating to mock tween-photos of Simon is very sweet. Quality friendship. So pure."
June 19, 2018 –
page 151
44.02% "I'm actually laughing sO MUCH my dog got up to see if I was okay or about to wheeze to death"
June 19, 2018 –
page 151
44.02% "I start walking toward her -- but I'm intercepted by Alice Spier.
"Leah! I love your boots."


June 19, 2018 –
page 334
97.38% ""I'm shook," Simon says, and Bram pats him on the arm.

Maybe the best line out of the whole book. I AM JUST SAYING"
June 20, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 20, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
June 20, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by evi (new) - rated it 4 stars

evi OH I BASICALLY HAVE ALL THE SAME FEELINGS. i love leah but i don't like mean characters and i'm so conflicted!! like, at some points it was her reacting to something that was bad, but other parts it was just like.....why are you saying these cruel things gosh!!

C.G. Drews Yeah, a lot of it felt really over the top? And like people don't ALWAYS have to be smiley/bubbly (goodness knows I'm not!) but there's a different between that and just being ... respectful I guess. Kindness is really cheap to give out and I think it's really valuable. 😭

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