In 2015, readers fell in love with Becky Albertalli’s Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which explored and celebrated LGBTQ teens. And with the recently released film adaptation of the book, Love, Simon, YA readers of all ages are certain to be pleased with Albertalli’s sequel, Leah on the Offbeat, which goes in depth into the life of Simon’s best friend, Leah. From band rehearsals to school plays, Leah on the Offbeat speaks to the complications of adolescence and the completely hilarious moments found in everyday life.

Leah has always been Simon’s sidekick, and now she has the chance to shine on her own. Albertalli takes readers into the same world as Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and deepens Leah’s story, giving a clear depiction of her quirky, humorous, and sincere personality. While not looking like the modelesque girls that surround her, Leah struggles to tackle her complicated relationship with her mom, her image of her own body, and how she interacts with the other girls around her. Leah may have faded into the background in Simon’s story, but Leah shines in Leah on the Offbeat and tells an important, incredibly funny story about teen life and the awkward events that happen in between. With more laugh-out-loud moments than ever and a simple yet moving narrative, Becky Albertalli returns with a strong and memorable female protagonist.

Leah on the Offbeat had me crying laughing constantly, usually in public. Albertalli has a humor unlike any YA author on the shelves today, willing to tackle embarrassing, crude, and realistic content in a way that teens are certain to relate to. While this installment in the series didn’t feel as momentous as her previous, Leah’s story entertains and remains relevant for teenagers (and adults). Body image, sexuality, complicated relationships, and high school are only a few of the topics covered — all important for teens to explore. Ultimately, Leah on the Offbeat is a hopeful, hilarious story about surviving the high school years and not losing yourself in the noise and chaos that is growing up.

First there was Simon, and now there is Leah: two best friends with two incredible stories. For both reluctant  and avid readers, Leah on the Offbeat could not be more enjoyable, readable, and funny; virtually any reader is sure to enjoy this read and have a smile on their face as they do so. Pick up your copy of Leah on the Offbeat today and experience things from Leah’s perspective while still getting to read about your favorites from Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

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