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 really enjoyed Leah on the Off Beat by Becky Albertalli. I loved Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and was really excited to get to know more about Leah.
Leah reminded me so much of myself when I was in high school. The sarcasm that flowed from her, her somewhat negative outlook on life and her inability to say sorry. That was me and still all parts of my personality. Leah is just a girl who completely over thinks everything that is happening and it’s her biggest enemy. When she is potentially offered her happy, she doesn’t believe its real and worried about all the negative ways it will affect her friends around her.
“When I’m mad, I escape. It’s what I do. […] Because if i stay, i’ll lose my shit at someone.”
“If there’s one thing I hate, its apologies. I don’t like getting them. I really dont like making them.”
I guess the only two things that bugged me in the story was the way she was treating her mother over the guy her mom was dating. It was just felt immature and didn’t seem to fit with the close relationship she seemed to have with her mom. I also didn’t like how hard she was on Abby. I mean I get she didn’t want to be used but I think she could have laid off her a bit. I’m glad Leah knew who she was on the inside but that doesn’t mean it so easy on everyone else. I felt like she kind of rushed Abby into figuring out her feelings and was a bit harsh about the whole thing.
Overall, the story was fun and quirky. It was great getting to see more of the Simon and Bram. God could they be any stinkin’ sweeter!?! And it was nice to see Abby and Leah figure themselves out.
“Imagine going about your day knowing someone’s carrying you in their mind. That has to be the best part of being in love – the feeling of having a home in someone else’s brain.”