CBR11Bingo – Pajiba! This book was briefly reviewed on Pajiba here, seems we feel similarly!
Leah Burke seems to be on an even keep as she navigates senior year, stepping closer to her future college career at the local state school, where she’ll even have her friend Abby there. But naturally things start to shake up, as tends to happen in senior year. First, Abby and Nick break up. Abby doesn’t think their relationship can hold-up long distance, and Nick is heartbroken – as is Leah’s best friend Simon and most of the group. Then some in-fighting happens when one of Leah’s bandmates makes some racially insensitive comments after getting rejected from Abby and Leah’s future school. And overlying all of this is Leah’s feelings for Abby, and Garrett’s obvious feelings for Leah. Leah has known she’s bi for a while, and how could she not with her growing crush on Abby? But she hasn’t come out to anyone except her mom, and why bother when she’s crushing on a straight friend who just broke up with another friend? But on a college visit together, Abby begins to indicate that maybe she’s not so straight, but she won’t talk about it in a plain matter. Leah’s not sure how to navigate all this drama, but here comes prom . . .
If my summary feels lackluster, it’s because I am very lukewarm on this book. I expected to love it — I know it means a lot to the fat bi girls out there that they got their funny, imperfect, honest hero in Leah, and a girl/girl relationship too. But Leah is a completely boring protagonist. Shannon Purser’s narration on the audiobook certainly didn’t help things. Wow, what a dull read. And the drawn-out meandering path to Leah and Abby’s fate was such a drag. I get it — teens have trouble talking about this stuff, and when you layer in being in the closet and friends dating friends, it gets murky. But after the snappy dialogue and intrigue of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the follow-up is such a slog. Also there was a surprising lack of drumming in the book?? We open on her band, and she drums at a college party at another point, but the book could have used a lot more music references or themes or something to tie into that title and her supposed passion. Her passion turns out more to be art… this whole thing felt very uneven.