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Leah on the Offbeat: 03/16/20
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli is the sequel / companion piece to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. This one is told from Leah's point of view and takes place during senior year.
Leah is a refreshing protagonist for two reasons. The first is that's fat but her size isn't a major (or minor) plot point. The second is that she's bi and not confused about this realization.
While her being bi is the major plot motivation, her conflict isn't one of personal distaste or confusion. Instead it's a two fold problem. First, she's basically closeted at school because her only crushes so far have been boys. Second, her latest crush, she believes is straight. Actually, so does her crush.
The crush is Abby. If you've read The Upside of Unrequited, you'll understand why Abby might be questioning her own sexuality. If you haven't, the details you need to understand where she's coming from and what she's going through are here in this novel.
The set up for the big conflict/ reveal comes in the form of a road trip. Abby and Leah go together to college orientation. It's there, while sharing a room, that Abby reveals (in a roundabout way) that she also has feelings for Leah. However, she's not as centered in her understanding of her sexuality as Leah is and that causes the conflict for the final third of the novel.
The road trip side plot puts this novel into the road narrative spectrum at 330033, or a couple going to the city via the Blue Highway.