eARC Review: Leah On The Offbeat By Becky Albertalli

Good morning you guys! I’ve got a bit of a confession to make before we get into today’s post: I can’t seem to find the proper words to express how I feel about this book. And it is really bothering me. I finished reading this over two weeks ago now I think and I still haven’t found the right words? Like, I know that I loved this book a lot and Leah is hands down one of my favorite characters but I can’t tell you why.

And I did try writing a traditional (for me) review for this book but that just wouldn’t work no matter how many times I tried. So, instead, you guys are getting my thoughts and feelings in the format of GIFs! Fun, right? And yes, there will be quite a few GIFs of Kristen Bell and the Sloth Incident. Because that? That was me when I heard I would be able to read Leah On The Offbeat early.

Just in case you haven’t heard of the Sloth Incident yet, please click here.

leah on the offbeatLeah 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. (via goodreads)

Okay, before we get into this review I just want to make sure you guys know that Leah On The Offbeat is set during senior year for the characters from Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda and it does have spoilers for how Simon VS ends and who Blue is, so if you haven’t read Simon VS yet (first of all, WHY NOT?) please read Simon VS first and then jump right into Leah On The Offbeat!

But now, let’s get into this GIF-filled review, shall we?

How I Felt Before

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Which, spoiler alert: the very last thing I was at any given moment leading up to me opening the document and reading Leah On The Offbeat was calm.

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The wait for this book, man. The waiting seemed to take forever and then I had gotten that email that told me my book had been shipped (WEEKS before the UK release date, I still don’t know how that happened) and I was just impatiently checking my mailbox every. single. day. for the physical copy – which arrived the day after I read the digital copy. So yes, this was me.

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There are authors out there where you know exactly that you’re going to get hurt over and over while reading their books – both the good and bad kind of hurt. And Becky is one of those authors for me. So yeah, I knew what I was getting myself into.

How I Felt About Leah

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I feel like I’ve said it a million times at this point, but MY GOD does Leah as a character speak to me? The number of times that I would read something she was saying, feeling or thinking and be reminded of myself is so, so high! And not just the good things. Oh, no. So many of the more negative things Leah feels are things that I have said or done more times than I would care to admit.

But unlike with myself, I absolutely adored Leah for all of it. I will get annoyed with myself for being too stubborn, for letting what others say about themselves affect how I feel about myself (especially body-image related things), etc. Reading about Leah was like someone putting up a mirror in front of me for most of the book.

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So, so many of my little notes are some variation of me being like ‘SAME LEAH.’. And I’m already excited to go back in and reread this book and actually take my time with it all (unlike the first time when I flew through it).

How I Felt About The Character ‘Cameos’

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise to most of you guys that I love, love, love the characters from Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda, right? I mean, when do I ever shut up about that book? So obviously I was super excited about being reunited with pretty much everyone and seeing where they were a year later.

The only character that pissed me off – and pissed me off a lot, was Nick in this book. I don’t know what happened to the character if I’m being honest. At times it was difficult to remember that he was the same guy as the Nick in Simon VS because he was acting like such an asshole and at times so disrespectful – I wanted to slap him.

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Overall, I loved being reunited with these characters and I loved getting to know Leah’s mother a bit more and see what that dynamic was like. Also, Leah’s mom probably had one of my favorite quotes in the book which also happened to hit a bit too close to home for how I react to situations too often.

How I Felt About The Story Itself

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Honestly, this book was a roller coaster of emotions – from start to finish. I mean, I was an emotional mess pretty much from the second I got that email and then all the way until the end of the book. I was crying, I was laughing, I was swooning, I was getting angry with characters and on behalf of characters – all of it. Within the few hours it took me to read this book.

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I’ve come to realize that I really, really love reading about characters journey during their senior year in high school – Always And Forever, Lara Jean was my favorite for exactly that reason. Especially with American novels, it seems like they’ll often include prom and the excitement leading up to it which is something I love. I 100% blame the hundreds of high school set movies I watched as a teenager. There’s even a reference to a particular scene in She’s All That in this book which basically resulted in this

i understood that reference.gif

Which seems like such a meta thing to do? You’re referencing a movie reference to say that you understood another movie reference. 🤣 But obviously I can’t use a GIF in my physical book, so I just quoted Steve Rogers but still. You guys get the full experience! 😉

And now that I googled what movie I was thinking about, I suddenly want to rewatch the parody Not Another Teen Movie because it has Chris Evans in it and when do I ever not want to watch Chris Evans in movies??? *hurries up so she can watch the movie*

I think most of us probably know that Becky can write swoon-worthy material quite well, and let me tell you guys. She had me sitting in front of my laptop looking an idiot so, so many times – not that I’m complaining! I loved it. So, so much. Just picture me reading this book like this

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And it didn’t even matter if it was because I was feeling sad or super freaking happy or just swooning, that was the face I was making for the majority of this book. I should’ve filmed myself reading the book or something – that would’ve been hilarious to watch back. 🤣

How I Felt After


I’m sure you all know that feeling when you finish reading a book way too quickly and suddenly you realize that that’s it. You’ve read the book. You know what happens. AND YOU DIDN’T TAKE YOUR TIME WITH IT, YOU IDIOT. Which then results in tears – or, even more tears. Can you believe we won’t get more stories set in this universe from Becky??? That was it? Which leads me right to my next emotion:

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I’m just, I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet? Or their stories? I guess the only good thing is the fact that I still haven’t seen Love, Simon yet (my German self has to wait until the end of June… 😤😤😤) so I have that story to look forward to. Positive thinking, right?

And the very last GIF I want to use for this review is a message to all of you guys out there:

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I’m sure a good deal of you guys have already read this book or plan on reading this book without me having to throw it in your face – but just in case, GO READ THE DAMN BOOK. Thank you.

Where To Get The Book

Penguin | Amazon | Waterstones | WH Smith | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo!

lets chat 1

Now that we all know how I felt about this book (just in case I hadn’t made it abundantly clear on my other social media and the blog over the past few weeks), I want to know how you guys felt about Leah On The Offbeat! Did you get the chance to read it already? If so, did you enjoy it and what are your thoughts on Nick (without spoiling, please!)?

And for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet – do you plan on reading it? Also, for any UK readers, both Waterstones & WH Smith seem to have the book for super cheap right now so GET ON IT.

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17 thoughts on “eARC Review: Leah On The Offbeat By Becky Albertalli

  1. Oh my gosh, I loved this book so much! Although yeah, Nick was… not great. I felt like his character was pretty different in Simon Vs. But like, I don’t care, because the book was amazing!

    Also I really wish I hadn’t read it so fast. I literally binged it in three and a half hours straight. No breaks. And then realized it was OVER, and I’m so sad, because how is it over?! 😭😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I feel like Nick from the Simon VS book would’ve NEVER acted the way he did in Leah and I wonder if it was to make the reader dislike the character? And to make way for the other relationship. I would’ve much preferred it if Becky found a way to make us root for the relationship without ruining a character for it.

      SAME. That’s the thing with these contemporary novels! Before you know it you’re turning the last page and there’s nothing left to read anymore!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read Leah yet, but I’m really looking forward to it! I read Simon SUPER late in the game, and found I really liked Leah and was frustrated she wasn’t in it more. It felt like she was this important character and so far away and UGH WHY.

    Reading your review though… I’ll make sure to take time and savor when I do read it. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only read Simon VS last summer too! I picked up the audiobook on a whim one night, hoping it would help me fall asleep (spoiler alert: I finished the audiobook that night and didn’t get to sleep until 4AM) and pretty much fell in love with these characters!

      I hope you end up enjoying the book whenever you do get to reading it! And yes, TAKE YOUR TIME.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review for this book, I read Leah on the Offbeat a little while ago, and while I loved the story and really loved Leah’s character (like you she’s someone I could really connect with) I did have a couple of small issues with the book. One of the main ones (which I don’t think I spoke about in my review come to think about it) was Nick’s character, he seemed completely different in this one and yeah I understand what happened with him and Abby couldn’t have been easy but, I dunno it just struck me as off you know?
    Still great review, and I’m really glad you enjoyed this book Swetlana. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been thinking about it. I have come to the conclusion that I thought the ending was wrapped up rather quickly since they entire book was building up to that so to me when I reached that last page I was like well this is over quick.

    Yeah…. Nick. I just didn’t like him in this book and I was disappointed in his character because I feel like it could have been done without making the reader dislike him. I don’t know. I just think that the nick from Simon vs is different than nick from Leah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, definitely! It felt like quite a bit of the book was leading up to prom and then it kind of just POOF happened and everything that happened AT prom was quite quick too. I feel like there was definitely room to develop it more and slower, but yeah. I don’t know what happened in this book that made Becky decide to write it this way and to have the story develop this way. I’m sure it’ll be something I will be thinking about for at least a little while longer!


  5. I loved reading your Review and I really liked how you incoporated the Gifs, it perfectly showed how you felt about the book 💕 I agree about Nick, for me his character completely changed, a bit too much to be entirely realistic, so I wasn’t a fan about how things developed with him :/ And I was SO angry at him 😠
    Are we not even getting one more book though? I kind of want MOREEEE 😱 (Still not over having to wait until June for the movie … let’s suffer together)
    My Review is coming on Wednesday and I should write it soon … it’s going to be a longer Review for sure 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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