Rating: 3.5 STARS!
Genre: Contemporary YA
Standalone/Series: Creekwood #2
How I got this book: Bought
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.
I was so ready for this book! Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was amazing. I loved The Upside of Unrequited and I was ready to love Leah on the Offbeat, even if I had some trouble with her character whilst reading Simon...I mean, she's fat, and bi, and I was all ready for that!
I should mention that this is the first audiobook I've ever reviewed on my blog. I've never really 'gotten into' audio books before but after listening to The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue almost on repeat this year, I decided to try another.
The book was narrated by Shannon Purser and I think she did a fantastic job of capturing Leah's essence and portraying her character.
I was immediately captured by her voice and by Leah's sarcastic wit. I also really, really liked that there was an f/f romantic interest, even if the character did throw me somewhat.
Sadly, my biggest problem, was Leah herself. Like I said at the beginning, I should have really, really loved this book, but I just could not get over how horrible Leah's character was. She's a complete bit** to her mum, her mum's boyfriend, and to all of her friends. She was judgemental and patronising and manipulating and it really threw me off.
Don't get me wrong, there were sweet moments, tender moments and moments where I felt sorry for Leah but a lot of the time I just couldn't get over how much I didn't like her personality, and that sucks because I wanted to love her.
However, it wasn't all bad. I loved that I got to see more of Simon and Bram. I love this pair and they are seriously cute in this book! Prepare yourselves to gush!
I liked Garrett. I can't actually remember if he was in Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda but I did find him funny and sweet, yet I didn't like that he was basically strung along the whole time.
I also liked that Leah was quite body positive. For the most part she doesn't go on and on about her body size and how bad her life is because of it. I love that she dresses how she wants to, how she falls in love with a prom dress and doesn't obsess over looking 'bigger' than everyone else. It's nice to have a little more positive body size representation in books, especially in YA where it can make all the difference.
Overall, I did enjoy the story. I enjoyed getting back with the gang. I enjoyed the romance and I liked Leah's sarcasm, I just didn't love her the way I wish I had.
What do you think? Have you read this book? I'd love to know your thoughts!
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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