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.
I picked up Leah on the Offbeat because I was excited to get back to Creekwood & see how Simon was doing. I was a little late to the Simon train – only reading it a few weeks ago because I finally caved and gave into the hype. I was not disappointed with Simon at all. He was the perfect combination of sweet and funny and the novel was adorable.
Leah is definitely not sweet but I thought she was hilarious – in a deeply sarcastic, teenage angsty way. And despite the same cast of characters, Leah on the Offbeat is a completely different animal from Simon. Leah is in her senior year of high school and change is on the horizon. Things start to fracture in her tight knit group of friends when college acceptances (and rejections) start to filter in, friendships & relationships are tested and everyone is bursting with Prom-fever. All the while, Leah is dealing with her own stuff. Her mother knows that she is bisexual, but she has not come out to any of her friends, one of whom she is having trouble navigating her feelings for.
What I like so much about Becky Albertalli is her ability to create such complex teenage characters. Leah was no different. I loved that she was snarky and bitter and sarcastic. I loved that she had an amazing potty mouth and seemed to have no filter. But I also really loved how vulnerable she was, especially when she was clearly not able to hide it.
I used to think boners literally pointed in the direction of the person you’re attracted to, like a compass. That would be helpful. Mortifying as fuck, but at least it would clarify things.
On the downside, I thought Leah was perhaps a little long. While I felt the teenage drama was appropriate and relatable – for me, it dragged a bit too much. Leah sometimes acted a couple years younger than she actually was. I know I said her angst was one of the things I liked about her – but a couple times it just crossed the line into juvenile. And while we all love a happy ending, this one seemed a bit too easy and convenient.
But, there was enough Simon Spier & Harry Potter references to make up for it. 🙂
“God, Leah.” …. “How did you get so cynical?”
“I can’t help it. I’m a Slytherin.”
And I’m the worst kind of Slytherin. I’m the kind who’s so stupidly in love with a Gryffindor, she can’t even function.