I really wanted to like this book but I couldn’t stand Leah as a character.
- Biphobia (in particular, there is a horrible rant in the book where a character is yelled at for not being “bisexual enough”)
Leah Burke is one of Simon Spier’s best friends but even after Simon was outed as gay, she hasn’t been able to tell him (or anyone else other than her mom) that she is bisexual.
As a senior in high school, Leah knows that her life is on the brink of change but has no idea how to handle it. As she struggles to find out who she is, she finds herself losing old friends, making new friends, and–perhaps even–falling in love.
Review (No Spoilers)
I have a bad memory. To combat this, I try to create a blog draft as soon as a finish a book to scribble ideas of what I want to remember to write about in my review.
Leah is annoying AFThe only note past-me wrote to present-me.
So, that’s what I have to work from.
My partner and I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda together (review here) and I completely fell in love with that story. Honestly, I only bought Leah on the Offbeat because I wanted to follow Simon more and it was the closest thing I had to a sequel.
Honestly, I was hesitant on reading the book because I never liked Leah’s character in Simon’s story. She seemed to provide almost nothing but negativity. When I finally picked Leah on the Offbeat up, I had hoped that it would give me more insight into her character. Unfortunately, I ended up just hating her more and more. I hated her so much that I didn’t even want her to get her happy ending because I felt she didn’t deserve it.
I suppose that since I’m going on and on about how much I hate Leah, it would only seem fitting that I would give this book a 1 or 2 star rating. And I probably would have, except for the fact that this book was still kind of enjoyable.
There were a few times where I thought “you know, maybe I can like Leah” and I cherished those moments, even if they didn’t last long. There were also many parts where I laughed out loud and I always appreciate a book that can do that to me.
I think what I liked most about the book, though, was the side characters. Their stories were–to me–100% better than Leah’s. Give me an entire book about Leah’s mom, Garrett, Bram, Abby, or–what the heck–even Taylor and I will read that so hard. I think having a hatable MC allowed me to appreciate everyone else just that much more.
I will admit that I think Leah did grow as a person, but only very minimally. She was in denial about her flaws the entire book and I really wish that she would have come to that realization by the end. If she had, I might have given this book 4 or 5 stars.