Published On: May 3, 2018
Published By: Penguin Random House
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Amazon | Goodreads
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.
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I never had much interest in Leah's story. I read Simon earlier in the year and didn't consider her a stand-out character that I wanted more from. I did, however, want more of Simon and Blue. They was my sole reason for wanting to read this book, and there they were as adorable as ever. However, that ended up not being the only thing about the book I enjoyed.
If I'm being honest, I didn't like Leah in Simon. I found her quite annoying and didn't like some of the things she did. Strangely, she felt like a completely different character in this book. Perhaps this was because we were able to get to know her better and find out more about her life. I actually kind of liked her, and definitely related to her more than I did previously.
I didn't really like the friend group in general in Simon, but again my opinion changed this time. That could also just be because we were getting to know them better in this book. I actually really loved this friendship group and I think there was more of a focus on friendship in this book, particularly with the build up to prom and graduation. Leah's friends are all so different and I really loved getting to know them all more, I just wanted to be a part of the group.
Leah's friendship with Simon was possibly my favourite thing about this book. I adore the two of them together, they have such a genuine, loving friendship that it made my heart melt. They reminded me a lot of myself and my high school best friend so I think that made me love them even more. I was so rooting for them to stay friends through college rather than drifting apart like my friend and I.
As well as the friendships, I also really loved the relationship in this book. Leah's love interest is not who I would have expected after reading Simon but I was definitely on board with it. I thought the two of them were adorable together and I loved the questions around sexuality that were raised. The one thing I didn't like, though, was that the relationship appeared to come before friendships at one point, which I wasn't happy about.
My only other complaint was that I wanted a little bit more. The ending was a bit abrupt and didn't really explain how things happened. I also really wanted to get to see more of Leah and love interest following the pretty dramatic ending. We did get a little insight into that but I just wanted more. I could read about these characters all day.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite not being a huge fan of Leah going into it. I loved diving back in to this world and getting to know the diverse cast of characters a bit more, as well as catching up with Simon and Blue. I liked Leah a lot more in this book and loved seeing her learn more about herself while falling for the girl she, and I, least expected. It was just as adorable as Simon and just as enjoyable.