Published: April 7th 2015
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
My Rating: 5/5 (Outstanding)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance (LGBTQ), Young-Adult
Page Count: 303
Formats I Own: Hardcover, ebook
Hello! Today I have a review on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, a fantastic book that you all must absolutely read! There has been so much hype around this book, and I’m so happy to say it’s worth it. This book was heartwarming, sweet and will simply keep you up until you finish it!
From a distance, Simon Spier is a pretty normal teenager, except for a little detail; he’s a closet gay. And except for his secret email correspondant, Blue, no one knows it. Until another person (a guy named Martin) finds out, and screenshots Simon’s emails to Blue to use as blackmail. Now Simon has to help Martin get closer to the girl he likes, Abby, or Martin will expose the emails on the internet. Not only that, Simon faces several other obstacles, which in turn makes Simon’s world completely upside down.
“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”
The plot was amazing. I loved it. It’s a beautiful story that not only deals with gay characters, but also makes you think about your place in the world, and who you really are. I especially loved how despite the fact that this is told from the perspective of a gay teenager, I didn’t feel weird reading the story, or confused. The storyline was realistic but still unrealistic and creative, if you get my drift. In a very entertaining way, not only was it fun, it was meaningful. The story incorporates so many important messages to ponder, about acceptance, about love and friendships. Not to mention it was impossible to stop reading!
“What’s a dementor?”
I mean, I can’t even. “Nora, you are no longer my sister.”
“So it’s some Harry Potter thing,” she says.
Oh, don’t get me started on the characters. Simon was simply the best protagonist ever; he was hilarious, clever, sassy, and simply so relatable (even though he’s gay and all). Also, in case you couldn’t tell from the little tidbit above, he’s a Harry Potter fanboy! Like, yessss. And he loves Oreos? Okay, maybe the oreos thing isn’t that important to some of you, but this little thing just made him so likeable and lively. Not only that, this book, although it has a LGBT protagonist, I never felt left out or uninterested in the character. I loved him more for it, to be honest, because it was more than his gay situation that was going on. He was learning more about who he was, and really, that’s what this book was about.
“Sometimes it seems like everyone knows who I am except me.”
While I can’t empathize with what he had to go through, I sympathized, and I honestly just want him to come to life and be friends with him, because he is simply amazing. It’s why I loved this book so much; Simon was so real to me, and what made it so much better was that he wasn’t flawless. He wasn’t the greatest friend or family member or anything. He was flawed, and that’s what made him perfect.
The secondary characters were no less perfect! Especially Blue. With every little thing I found out about him, I shipped him and Simon so much more. This wasn’t a fast, steamy romance, it was something slow and sweet, which was absolutely adorable. Another thing I loved about this book was Simon’s family. You know how we’re always missing the supportive, big family thing in YA books? Well, that’s not the case for this one; Simon’s family was great, it was so refreshing to see a normal family for once. His family was so accepting and really fun, too. Although, I do wish I had gotten to see a bit more of them. And lastly, Simon’s friends were just as great as Simon in terms of how they were created. As in, they were just as real as Simon seemed. They were flawed, and they made mistakes, in true human being fashion. It was so awesome seeing their interactions with Simon, the good and the bad, just as it is in real life.
Wow, my praise for this book is endless! 🙂 The writing style was great. I loved seeing the emails between Simon and Blue. I really liked how we got the email as itself instead of having Simon read it to himself or whatever books usually do in the case of characters reading emails, if that makes any sense. The writing style was beautiful, in a very subtle way. The dialogues were so natural, the characters had great chemistry, and it all reflected real life so well. And the best part of all that is, it remained creative and so much fun to read!
No matter if this is your first LGBT book, or one of many, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a heartwarming and entertaining story about love and friendship that you should definitely not ignore. Simon is a wonderful protagonist, one that will surely remain with me forever. He is one of the characters you are bound to fall in love with; for they are so real they would be perfect as our best friends, so real you can’t help but love them. The book was wonderfully written and suited the story, and I absolutely loved the dialogues and chemistry between the characters. The plot, while LGBT-themed, has meaningful messages about acceptance and being something more than ‘normal’. Everything in this book came off as so natural and real, while still maintaining that creativity we love to see in books, and I loved it. Absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys Young-Adult contemporary, especially to those of you who are new to LGBT books or are looking for a fantastic LGBT novel. Honestly, go pick up this book, NOW. You won’t regret it!
So what did you think of this book? Agree? Disagree? Thinking of reading it? Let me know!
Don’t worry Simon, you’re not alone! We shall come join you, by eating up your story. Right? Right?!! You all must definitely go gobble this up, pronto!