Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) By: Becky Albertalli
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of 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. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s 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.
I was excited to read this for personal reasons and it definitely ended up coloring my opinion of the book. I cannot stand angsty teenage drama. This book was basically angsty teenage drama in book form. I wouldn’t have normally even been able to finish, but I ended up really liking it.
Leah is a perfectionist that isn’t willing to do anything in public unless she knows she’s going to be great at it. She’s hyper critical of herself and ends up coming off as a super bitch. Honestly, Leah was not very likeable. She spends a lot of time not thinking about stuff she should think about. There’s a fair amount of social anxiety there, but she does try and push herself by the end.
The ending was what really sold the book for me. At one point I laughed so hard I cried and I can’t remember the last time that happened. I also, actually, cried for emotional reasons too. It was a really good ending and even though I didn’t like or dislike the rest of the book the ending pushed it up a star rating.
The kids are mostly all in college now so I don’t know if Albertalli is going to do another book. She could probably do one with Simon’s sister as the protagonist, but I don’t really see myself reading further. I got what I wanted to from the series and I’m incredibly grateful for that.