Review by: Ivy
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Leah Burke doesn’t have any big plans for prom. Her mom thinks it’ll be some kind of teen-movie fantasy, but Leah isn’t so sure. At least she’s got a nice date locked down, her friends aren’t having any drama, and she’s confident about where she’s going to college, right?
When Leah’s friends begin to drift apart, her dating life gets way more complicated, and she plans the worst/best college visit road trip ever. It’s up to her to get the band back together and make sure the biggest night of senior year turns out perfect for all of them. That is, if she can stay onbeat herself.
A delightful detail in Leah on the Offbeat is the dedication, which simply reads “For the readers who knew something was up, even when I didn’t.” Though I’m not sure, I’d like to think that Becky made the decision to write a book about Leah coming out as bisexual because of responses to the character from her fans, and this quote solidifies that possibility.
One of the best parts about Leah, by far, is being able to revisit Creekwood High and it’s unique cast of characters, especially after getting see it brought to the screen earlier this spring in Love, Simon. Also, the timing of Leah’s release is extremely perfect, since it’s currently prom/college decision season.
My favorite character, other than Leah, had to be Abby Suso. Leah examines Abby and tells us so much more about her than we got to see in Simon vs. She gets to be more than the peppy, supportive best friend, and has her own emotional journey and array of ups and downs. I’m crossing my fingers to have Abby be the main feature of Albertalli’s next book, but we’ll see.
Overall, Leah on the Offbeat was a fun, uplifting story about self-discovery, friendship and navigating the thin line between teenager and adult. You get to see the Simon vs characters grow up, even if just a little bit, and it’s comforting to see familiar faces change and adapt like real people. Leah is an essential read for fans of any Simonverse content, and an enjoyable read for those who aren’t as well acquainted with Albertalli’s works.
PS: There may or may not be a What If It’s Us (Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s co-authored book) preview in the back of Leah and I may or may not be screaming.