Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 3.26.29 PMPublisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: April 24th, 2018

Page Count: 368 (Hardcover)

From the Jacket:

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.

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It’s like it doesn’t even matter if I like my body, because there’s always someone there to remind me I shouldn’t.

Leah Burke is my spirit animal. Becky Albertalli has created a character that I admire the hell out of, aspire to be like, wouldn’t mind dating, and would like to be BFFs with all at the same time. She is confident, completely comfortable in her own skin, and has enough sarcasm in her inner dialogue to rival Chandler Bing. Leah on the Offbeat is the second installment in the Creekwood series, with a focus on Leah this time, but still including all of the characters we fell in love with in Simon. Thrown in with a whole bunch of Harry Potter references are, a big school play, parties, band practice, college tours, road trips, friend fights, breakups, prom, a hefty helping of angsty love, and just so much witty banter. Albertalli tackles the uncertainty that comes with moving on after high school, staying true to yourself even if it means sacrificing relationships, and being brave enough to choose a path that is entirely new.

I sat down to read a few pages of this the other night and ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting. It was hilarious and uplifting and took me right back to all of the best and most uncertain parts of my high school experience. The group is nearing the end of their senior year and everyone is preparing for prom and life after college. This is not your typical high school story, however, as we have an unapologetically fat, bisexual girl as the main character. Oh how I wish this book had been around when I was a teenager. I had really high expectations for this one because I was so enamored by Simon and really wanted more of these characters. As soon as I got my hands on a copy, I put down all of the other books I was reading to start it (sorry not sorry).

With all of the hype surrounding it and my extreme love of the first one, I was worried I’d be underwhelmed, but that wasn’t the case at all. I’m still partial to Simon and Bram, and I did miss the interactions between Simon and his family, but in Leah, we get an entirely new love story (that I was not at all expecting) to crush on and a new family dynamic. I really loved how Albertalli wrote the relationship between Leah and her mom and her mom’s boyfriend, who she is just entirely unimpressed with. Her inner dialogue anytime she is around him or is being forced to talk about him is savage and just so hilarious.

There isn’t a single thing I didn’t love about this book. It has all of the charm and wit of Simon, so if you’re looking for more of that you should definitely consider adding Leah to your list. I plan on reading all of Albertalli’s books and I just got an ARC of What if it’s Us, which she co wrote with Adam Silvera. I cannot wait to start it!

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June 2017 Wrap-Up

I’m FINALLY caught up with these monthly wrap-ups! Woot! Only six books for the month of June, but some really great reads overall. June is also my birthday month, so I added some fabulous new books to my collection and ever growing TBR. I got The Hate U Give, Ramona Blue, and The Six of Crows duology!!

Some of my favorites from this month were…

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Waking Gods is the second in The Themis Files series. If you haven’t already read Sleeping Giants, you should rectify that immediately. These are epistolary novels and because of that I highly recommend the audio version. I listened to Sleeping Giants when it first came out and didn’t want to wait for Waking Gods so I read it in print. The story really comes alive in the audio version and is a more immersive experience. Despite the format, I still found it very enjoyable and after that ending, legit cannot wait for the third one to come out.

 

 

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I’ve already written a love letter in review form for the Scorpio Races, which you can read here. This book is wonderful in every way. Another audio recommendation, but I have no doubt it will be incredible in any format. Maggie Stiefvater is my spirit animal.

 

 

 

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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a really sweet story and yet another audio recommendation. I listened to this one all the way through and immediately started it again. It’s touching and funny and the relationship Simon has with his family is seriously goals.

 

 

 

The whole line up…

 

 

The Scorpio Races – 5 crowns

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – 5 crowns

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – 5 crowns

Into the Water – 4 crowns

Waking Gods – 4 crowns

My Life With Bob – 5 crowns

April 2017 Wrap-Up

I’m slowly but surely getting caught up on these monthly wrap-ups. April was a really fantastic month of reading. I read 10 books, one which became a new all-time favorite and I finally discovered the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. This series was absolutely delicious and I went all in with the YA romance. I have no regrets.

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I absolutely treasured this book and it has joined the ranks of my all-time favorites. It’s a re-telling of Jane Eyre, but this Jane a totally bad-ass vigilante version. While there are several parallel plot points, it’s also entirely original. The historical details are perfect and for those who love Jane Eyre, it’s like meeting up with an old friend. I cannot recommend this one enough. Plus, it basically has my favorite cover art ever.

 

 

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The Impossible Fortress wasn’t a five crown read for me, but I find myself thinking back on it all the time. I had an absolute blast reading it. It’s full of nerdy computer details and is set in the 80s, with a quirky group of friends and a really sweet love story. If you’re looking for a fun, light read, definitely pick this one up.

 

 

 

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This. Book. Oh my sweet baby Jesus, THE FEELS. I highly recommend listening to this one on audio. The narrator has a beautiful accent and does an incredible job. I sat listening, tears streaming down my face, on more than one occasion. The Nightingale is about two sisters living in Nazi occupied France during WWII. I do not want to say too much because I think it’s one of those stories you should just experience without much prior knowledge. This is a beautifully written book and everyone should read it.

 

 

The whole line up…

 

 

Jane Steele – 5 crowns

A Murder In Time – 3 crowns

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – 3 crowns

Before I Fall – 4 crowns

Shatter Me – 4 crowns

Unravel Me – 4 crowns

Ignite Me – 5 crowns

Destroy Me – 5 crowns

The Impossible Fortress – 4 crowns

The Nightingale – 5 crowns