Leah on the Offbeat
I simply could not put down this book. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli was everything you could possible want in a book -- characters you actually care about, humor, and a plot that leaves you wanting more.
This novel returns to the characters from Albertalli's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (which spawned the movie Love, Simon). However, this time we get a peek into the mind of Leah. We quickly realize that nothing is as it appeared in the first novel. Well, not necessarily nothing. Leah is still incredibly snarky, thoroughly enjoys cursing, has a "resting bitch face" (her words) and is a bit of an enigma. But that is precisely what makes her an interesting read. Chapter by chapter, new layers are revealed and we get to know Leah for who she is, which is way more than just Simon's best friend.
I enjoyed Leah's snark as well as her view on everything happening around her. I found myself smirking quite a bit and was also pleasantly surprised to find an author who curses in the pages almost as much as I do (really, that's realistic people - most of us aren't saints). But most of all, I enjoyed the slow burn of this love story. I won't give anything away as the love interest is meant to be a surprise, but it truly is a slow burn. As an author who dove straight into the love story in Echoes of Blue, I really appreciated Albertalli's approach and it made me consider doing something similar in my next novel. Her approach gave me a taste of the relationship bit by bit and it left me a bit insatiable. I would finish a scene between the love interests and need to keep going just to get to the next scene to find out what happened next. This led to many late nights reading in bed and one tired woman in the morning.
But quite frankly, it was worth it. At the end of story, I was both satisfied and yet still wanting more. Isn't that the goal of any author? Well, one thing is certain -- Becky Albertalli succeeded.
I highly recommend Leah on the Offbeat. Just be prepared for some late nights. :)