My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Leah on the Offbeat” is the “sequel” to “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.” It doesn’t take the plot forward so much as delves into the lives of some of the other characters from the first book. Leah had a minor role in “Simon” as his best friend (although for a best friend, she didn’t appear in a lot of the book). In her titular book, we get to see her conflicts as she feels pressure to come out as bi, now that Simon has come out and the world didn’t end.
The problem is that Leah is one of those people who doesn’t process conflict or adversity well. Instead, when things don’t go the way she wants them to she goes with the scorched earth method and shuts everything and everyone down. She also has a very low self-esteem so she never believes anyone would want to do good things for her and assumes people are lying when they compliment her.
I read this book in one sitting, not because it was engrossing, but because it was like watching a reality show. It was just interesting that wanted to know how it ended, but I stayed for the drama. And there was a lot of it! It almost becomes comical at the end. Leah has a crush on one of the members of the friend group and she does not handle it well. By the end of the book there’s hints this person might reciprocate her feelings but it seems so orchestrated and convenient that it doesn’t feel sincere. Then there’s a whole manic pixie girl trope that shows up and it just spun out of control.
We may have had a friend in our lives who is like Leah. That friend was probably not always easy to be around, but was very loyal. They may like this book and can relate to a lot of it. You, however, may be too triggered to really enjoy the book.