18/52: Leah on the Off Beat

Kath's Bookshelf / Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Today I’ve spent my Saturday exactly as I would have back in the day; after a run, I hid away from the dull day outside with a book. Specifically, Leah on the Off Beat by Becky Albertalli. I’ve challenged myself to read fifty-two books this year (check out my Goodreads account HERE) and have, thus fur, failed at reading a book a week to keep up. This week, however, I begun working a 9-5 and spent most of my evenings with Leah Burke and managed to finally tick off book eighteen. Let’s chat about the second novel centred around Creekwood High.

After adoring Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Albertalli answered my bookish dreams and gave us another instalment on Creekwood. This time we delve into Simon Spier’s best friend, Leah’s life. High school is nearly ending and so is, it feels, Leah’s friendship group. Not only that but Leah is bisexual and can’t bring herself to even tell her best friend, Simon, let alone anyone else. When feelings surface for one of her friends, Leah isn’t sure how to handle it. Or if she should handle it at all.

I fell in fangirl love with Creekwood High only a few months ago, but felt so relieved to be reading more about its students. Albertalli writes the most captivating YA and I find myself completely transported from real life to high school every time. It’s my favourite kind of fictional escapism. Albertalli’s writing is addictive, charming and witty. She values focusing on the characters’ friendships just as much as the love story that drives the plot of her Creekwood novels, which is always brilliant to see.

Albertalli has, once again, written a story that’s represented the LBGTQ+ community in a wonderfully natural way. I can’t wait until the YA world (and, of course, all genres of fiction) is just full of books that seek to include the LBGTQ+ community. It’s been a long-time coming but I’m glad we’re seeing it more and more. Leah has almost always known she’s bi and confided in her mum at a young age. Even so, she’s not sure how to tell those closest to her. This simple fact contrasts with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, whereby Simon was concerned about the whole process. Leah on the Off Beat brings to light that even once you tell your family, it doesn’t mean the rest of it is an easy ride. It’s a blessing we’ve got authors like Albertalli showing us just how unfair this all is.

I loved hearing about Creekwood from Leah’s perspective. Anxious about money, her feelings and her friends, her narration is honest and realistic. As a reader, I was whole-heartedly rooting for her. I could have quite easily read this in a day and, if you’re a YA fiction fangirl like me, pick up Creekwood #1 and #2 this summer!

I will keep my fingers crossed for ever that she’ll bring out a Creekwood #3.

I rate Leah on the Off Beat by Becky Albertalli as 4/5!

You can…

  • Buy the book on Amazon HERE!
  • Check out other reviews of this book on Goodreads HERE!
  • Read my review of the seventeenth book I’ve read this year HERE!

Love, Kath

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