Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
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.
“As a side note, don’t you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re stright, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”
Say hello to my new favourite book. Seriously. There is nothing even slightly average about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It was an extraordinary read.
Everything about this book felt so real. Not once did I ever think, “ok no, this would never happen come on.” Simon’s voice was genuine. It was as if he were an honest to god real person, and not just a fictitious character in a book. I felt like I was a part of his life. Or like he was a part of mine. Like he was one of my closest friends for a moment.
The fact that Simon vs. spanned over a few months made Simon and Blue falling for each other more real. They got to know each other on such an emotional level by only corresponding through emails. The anonymous factor forced them to discuss deeper things that weren’t a part of everyday conversation with friends because they didn’t want the other one to find out who they were.
And the reveal. Oh, the reveal. I did figure out who Blue was going to be based on little hints thrown about between the emails and Simon’s everyday life, but I wasn’t disappointed about that. I’m trying my hardest not to spoil anything, so I’ll just say this. Your heart is going to be so full of happiness and you guys aren’t going to be able to handle the first love adorableness. I’m still having trouble because it was just SO DAMN CUTE.
I love minor characters in books. Especially the ones that dish out really good one-liners and/or shed some much needed perspective. And I love to feel like they belong in the book and that they weren’t just some kind of afterthought (as in “oh shit I need to write more than like three people”). Becky Albertalli mastered this. All of the other characters had some kind of role to play. They each had their own important part in Simon’s life to the point where their friendship felt essential to the story.
I think my favourite thing about Simon vs. was that it was just another example of how universal love is. It doesn’t matter what your sexual identity is, love is love. Period. We all get those crazy butterflies, and that feeling of not being able to stop smiling because that other person is just so damn perfect in every way to us. And I mean, we know this already, but I think it’s important to have books like this written for people who still aren’t as accepting. Books that are so simple and yet so powerful all at the same time.
This book was wonderful and you all need to read it, like, now. Right now. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda should be required reading as a human being. It’s just that lovely.