Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Thoughts: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (Audiobook)
Leah on the Offbeat
(Creekwood #2)
by Becky Albertalli
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Publication Date: April 24th 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780062643803
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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Leah 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. (Goodreads)

Leah on the Offbeat was one of my MOST anticipated reads for 2018, and I'm so beyond thrilled to have finally read this book! I am a huge fan of Becky Albertalli's books, and I absolutely couldn't wait to read Leah's story. I loved this book. It was so much more than what I expected, and I can't wait to read it again, and again, and again!

A few weeks ago I decided to re-read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, not only to refresh my brain before the movie was released, but also to refresh before starting Leah's story. I am SO glad I made the decision to do this, because not only did it give me the refresher that I needed, but it also made me completely fall in love the story again! (It also made me want to re-read The Upside of Unrequited again, which I did, and which was another great decision!) So when I started reading Leah on the Offbeat, it felt like falling right back into the story, and I loved that so much.

I'm going to try to write my thoughts for this book without giving anything away, but if you absolutely want no spoilers, then you should probably come back and read this AFTER you read the book. Just in case!

Leah on the Offbeat picks up about a year after where Simon VS leaves off. All of our favorite characters that we love from Simon are back in this story, enjoying their last year of high school, and getting ready to move on to college. I LOVED seeing all of these characters again, and discovering what they had been up to over the past year. It felt a John Hughes movie in book format, and I freaking love their stories so much. The storyline felt familiar, yet completely different, and I love that it kept me guessing. Seriously, I flew through this book in just a few hours time, and by the last chapter, I didn't want it to end. But, all good things come to an end, and this book had the perfect ending.

As I mentioned above, all of the characters we know and love from Simon's story are back once again in this book, but it is Leah who really stands out this time. (Of course she does, it's her story.) I liked Leah from the beginning, but getting to know more about her and her story was awesome. I found myself relating to her in SO many ways, and I just totally *get* her. Being able to connect to a character like that doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's the best.

Though I ordered a finished copy of this book, I was super impatient for it to actually arrive on release date, and I opted to start the audiobook the moment I woke up the morning of the release day. Lucky for me, Playster had me covered, and had the audiobook available the same day as well. If you have the opportunity to check out this book on audio, I highly recommend it! It's narrated by the lovely Shannon Purser, who does an AMAZING job with Leah's voice, and story, and I don't think there could be a better narrator for this book. ALL of Becky's books on audio are great, so if you ever want a good book to listen to, do check them out!

Overall; If you didn't notice by this super gushy review, I *really* loved Leah on the Offbeat! This was a great addition to an already wonderful set of books, and I'm beyond thrilled that I had the opportunity to read it. These are books that you will definitely want to read again and again, and I promise you'll never get tired of them. I know I can't wait to read them again. If you haven't yet check out any of Becky's books, I highly recommend you do so! And I hope you love them all just as much as I do.

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