Book of the Week: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Anthony Cesario, Entertainment Editor

From the author that brought us 2015’s heartwarming coming-of-age novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (which in turn spawned the critically acclaimed and culturally significant 2018 film Love, Simon) comes the follow-up, Leah on the Offbeat.


Instantly, readers are welcomed into Leah Burke’s world and inner monologue, who appears as Simon’s sarcastic best friend in Simon. In the book, it is senior year of high school and everything is changing: Burke’s friend groups – comprised of both new and familiar characters – seem to be falling into turmoil, prom is right around the corner and college is not much farther off; yet perhaps most significantly, Burke experiences difficulty telling her friends she is bisexual, despite her best friend in the world being openly gay.


Admittedly, Leah is not as resonating as Albertalli’s debut novel. Because the plot is not as focused as Simon, it can at times feel disjointed; the ending, while pleasing, relies too much on plot convenience for my tastes. Nonetheless, the combination of quick-paced, humorous and realistic dialogue, a commendable depiction of social anxiety and a fresh portrayal of LGBTQ youth makes for an entertaining read.

Rating: 3.6/5