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.
This book is the second/companion novel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. It’s been almost an year and a half after Simon’s coming out and things are looking pretty good for him. It’s senior year now and with that comes a lot of drama – college applications, prom and good-byes. In this book we follow Leah Burke, Simon Spier’s best friend. She is the only child of a single mom and has not exactly had a perfect childhood unlike the rest of her friends. Because of that she has always felt a little left out and she also has a secret of her own. She hasn’t told anyone that she’s bisexual – not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. Her friends group slowly starts to disintegrate when she develops feelings for one of them. Will she bury her feelings for friendship or will she muster up the courage to confess? This is Leah’s journey through senior year.
THINGS I LIKED:
- I really enjoyed seeing more of Simon and his love interest(not naming him – if you haven’t read book 1 yet). They are just adorable and this book made me fall in love with the couple more.
- There are few things that I really liked about Leah’s character. She stands up for what she believes in – that is admirable.
- I liked the dynamics of friendship and relationships. Becky has showed that it’s okay to be scared and what matters is what you finally decide to do about it.
- Its a fast, cute, fluffy contemporary read. Her writing is simple and relatable.
THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME:
- As mentioned before there are few things I liked about Leah and few I absolutely hated. She appears to be stubborn, unapologetic and way too judgmental. The fact that none of her friends seem to have a problem with her character is quite surprising to me. I really felt bad for Garrett who has a major crush on Leah and is lead on by her.
- Simon vs Homo Sapiens Agenda had a plot to support the story. I didn’t find anything interesting happening in this book other than day to day normal high school drama.
- The BIGGEST LET DOWN for me was Leah’s love interest. I didn’t feel any sort of chemistry or connection between the two and it kinda felt random and forced.
- When Simon finds out Leah is bi, his reaction felt unrealistic. For someone who’s your BFF am sure they will have more to say to you. It felt rushed just to have a happy ending.
- It’s actually Leah’s love interest who is struggling with her identity in this book and it would have added a lot to the plot if her POV was also discussed.
- Even though I love a happy ending I felt like a lot of things were left unexplained at the end, new relationships develop and it didn’t make sense to me.
So overall I have kind of love-hate relationship with this book. I definitely had a lot of issues with it and hence this cute, fluffy read was a little less enjoyable for me. Have you read it? Please do share your thoughts. I would love to discuss more.
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Penguin UK (1 May 2018)
- Language: English