Review Blog

Jul 05 2018

Leah on the offbeat by Becky Albertalli

cover image

Penguin, 2018. ISBN 9780241331057
(Age: 14 +) Recommended. Themes: School friendships. LGBT. Sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The story is set around Leah and her friendship group in the last year of high school. Leah loves her drawing, music and drumming but the tensions of finding her way and conscious of being bisexual is constantly on her mind. She is not sure about the attraction she feels to a girlfriend in her group, especially when this girl has a boyfriend.
Leah's life as an only child to a single Mum is so different to the privileged lives of her friends. This has no effect on her tight friendship group throughout high school, even though she sometimes feels it. Simon, her best friend, is openly gay and is in a relationship within her group. A disagreement about racism with one friend leads to fights and disharmony. The realisation of senior year friendships coming to an end as they will be going their separate ways after Prom adds to her confusion. Leah stuggles with her feelings and emotions and the reader can sympathise and gain an understanding of the issues she is facing with her sexuality.
This is an American teenage novel but we can find similarities with the School Prom and our year 12 formal.
I enjoyed the pace of this book and it was engaging. It gave me a clear insight into the issues and emotions of teenage sexuality. It will certainly be picked up by the readers who enjoyed the first book which has been made into a movie "Love, Simon". Rating: 8/10
Debra Pepper

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