BookWyrm Cove · Reviews

Leah on the Offbeat | Becky Albertalli

Hey BookWyrms,

I am quickly determining that Becky Albertalli is my all time favorite author. I can not put her books down. Mathematically, she’s winning by a landslide against every book that took longer than 24 hours to finish. (I’m a mom and full time student; 24 hours for one book is pretty near impossible, and yet it keeps happening with her books.) I’ve read some really great books this year, but none have captured me in quite the same way.

Check out Leah on the Offbeat here! #CommissionsEarned

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic.

She’s an anomaly in her friend group: 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.

Oh my gosh, Wyrms! I was entranced by this story. I can’t even pinpoint what it is about Albertalli’s stories, but I just can’t look away. I’m definitely hooked. I had expected this to be more of an independent, standalone installment (not sure why), but we saw a lot of Simon and the aftermath of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so if you haven’t read Simon’s story yet, definitely check that out here before diving into this one!

I will say one thing that bugged me, but I have a theory as to the why, so I’m okay with it. It’s semi-spoilery but with no real details, so read or skip this paragraph at your own discretion. So, I felt the end of the book was a little rushed. We had a lot of characters who were very emotionally invested in Leah’s romantic conclusion and we only saw two characters react to it. I felt like the story ended with a lot of loose ends in that regard, BUT here’s my theory of justification. Leah spends so much of the book over thinking everything. She cares so much what everyone thinks of her. I almost feel like skipping those reactions and only showing how Leah felt about her own conclusion was a statement that the other characters didn’t matter nearly as much as Leah getting on with her life did. We can certainly imagine how each character responded based on the lead up and their personalities, so actually taking the time to narrate it may have taken away from what Leah was feeling when she made her choice.

This book was hilarious. It was relatable. It was sweet and heartfelt. I know I gush a lot about books on here, Wyrms, but I seriously loved this book! There aren’t a ton of books that make me audibly laugh, but oh my goodness.

As always, drop me a comment, BookWyrms. What was the last story you just could not put down no matter how much you tried? (I mean, I didn’t try hard but I thought I’d read it over the course of a week because, you know, adulting. Oof.) And if you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for the BookWyrm Cove newsletter. I have some plans to reward subscribers coming up and you don’t want to miss out! Happy reading, BookWyrms!