Saturday, July 14, 2018

Quick Pick book review: Leah on the Offbeat, by Becky Albertalli

book review: Leah on the Offbeat, by Becky Albertalli
  • Opening lines: I don't mean to be dramatic, but God save me from Morgan picking our set list. That girl is a suburban dad's midlife crisis in a high school senior's body.
  • Reason I picked up the book: This is technically the sequel, or companion novel, to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which I really enjoyed (both the book and movie adaptation, called Love, Simon). 
  • And what's this book about?
  • In this sequel to the acclaimed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—now a major motion picture, Love, Simon—we follow Simon’s BFF Leah as she grapples with changing friendships, 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.
    She’s an anomaly in her friend group: 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.
    • Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys books about teens, growing up, or coming to terms with your own identity.
      • Favorite paragraph: "You know what I want for you?" Mom says finally. She smiles, almost wistfully. "I want you to let things be imperfect."

        "Okay." I frown. "But I do."

        "No you don't. You know? You have a sucky time dress shopping, and you're ready to call off prom. You wouldn't try out for the play because you're not the best actress in the universe."

        "I'm the worst actress in the universe."

        Mom laughs. "But you're not! Not at all. You just want to be the best. And you have to let that go. Embrace the suck. Let your guts hang out a little."

        Yeah, that's a fucking joke.
        Let your guts hang out. I don't even get that. Why would anyone want to live like that? Like it isn't bad enough that I'm always one breath away from falling apart. I'm supposed to fall apart under a spotlight?

        It's too much. And I don't want to embrace the suck. I want things to not suck. And I don't think that's too much to ask. 
        • Something to know: You don't necessarily need to have read Simon before you read this one, but it might be helpful to give you some context about Leah (his BFF) and their relationship before this book.
        • What I would have changed: Nothing.
        • Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
        • Where can I find this book? Click here to purchase on Amazon.

        *Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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