Publisher:HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 24 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
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 know this only came out 3 months ago but this was one of my highly anticipated books of 2018 and I’m so happy I finally read this incredible book!! I wish I could say it’s perfect but I had a few issues with the book. However, I still love it a lot despite its flaws and I definitely consider it worthy of 5 stars.
My heart was literally hurting after finishing this book! After reading so many positive reviews of this book, I was expecting a cute, fluffy, feel good book and Albertalli definitely delivered on that. The ending really leaves you feeling like love is real. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
It was also really great to see Simon and Bram’s relationship developed further. It’s been awhile since I read Simon VS and I was just wondering what they’ve been upto. Well now I know!! If I had no other reason to read this book, I would still do it because Simon and Bram are perfect and I cannot get enough of them.
But one of my issues with this book is that it focused a lot on Leah’s friend group’s drama…which made it interesting because having read Simon VS, I was very much invested in those characters too. But sometimes I wondered why Leah is the main character when she isn’t doing much and she doesn’t really have a life. Like as someone who usually watches from the sidelines, I can relate to her but still. I just wish there was more happening in this book.
It’s also worth pointing out that there isn’t much of a plot. Just a whole lot of angst!! Once again, I was totally okay with that because I love Albertalli’s writing style and all the suspense surrounding Leah’s crush on a certain character kept me reading. This is just the cutest book I’ve read all year and the queer representation is on point.
The only reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I could have is that I didn’t like Leah’s character. It’s really great to see a fat, bisexual, main character in YA fiction (yay for representation!!) but what annoyed me about her is that she can be unnecessarily mean and cruel. She would say rude things and never apologise for it, despite thinking that her actions possibly hurt someone else. I guess I just wanted another character to call her out on it because she really shouldn’t treat others like that. Also, she kept jumping to conclusions and assuming how others felt which just seemed so unnecessary. I just didn’t understand why she behaves the way she does sometimes. (Sidenote: There is a scene where Leah polices another character’s sexuality and this isn’t addressed. This is a problematic aspect of the book and I wish it had been dealt with better.) That said, even though she isn’t the most likeable character, I did relate to how Leah felt at times and her flaws made her feel more real to me.
TO SUM IT ALL UP… I am in love with this book and I think you should read it too!!