Fast becoming one of my favourite YA authors, Becky Albertalli can do no wrong in my eyes. The other day I finished her follow up to ‘Love, Simon’. I can tell you that I was more than pleasantly pleased with the book. Becky has a way of making you root for the main character and want to be a part of their world. In the town of Creekwood she has established a high school with characters who really tackle issues that are current and sometimes uncomfortable, but nonetheless important.
‘Leah on the Offbeat’ tells the tale of Simon’s best friend who is caught up in a fireball of confusion over whether she is into a guy or a girl. Well, there is a lot more to it than that, but the dating thing is a major part of the story. Trying not to lead Garrett on, she conceals the fact that she is bi and tries to hide her blushes whenever she is around her other best friend Nick’s girlfriend, Abby.
She presents her inner monologue throughout this easy to read story which covers the ups and downs of her final year at school, leading up to graduation. On one trip to look around a university, she is confronted by lots of time alone with Abby and the frustration gets the better of her. At the same time Simon is struggling to decide which university to go to. His heart is pulling him to one, but his boyfriend is at another.
I really like the way that Becky tells a lot of the story through conversations. She is brilliant at developing the plot before your eyes without too much exposition. The friendship group is fun and lively, trying to stay in one piece as the end of year Prom lays in wait. Of course Leah is not sure whether or not to go, and how she is going to play it. Should she bow out or take a boy?
I really would like to see this story in a TV series because it covers so many relevant issues such as body image and single parenting. Currently I am watching the ‘Love, Victor’ TV series which follows another confused Creekwood High lad after Simon and Leah have gone to university. Simon appears in the show both in voice over and in person. It would be great to see Leah brought in or for her to have her own story on TV.
For those of you who like YA stories (they are for adults too!) this is totally worth checking out. Before long you will be hooked on the Creekwood stories and see why I rave about Becky’s unique writing style.
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