Title: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Release date: April 7th, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Contemporary, LGBT
Rating: 5/5 stars
The Bookdepository link above is an affiliate link. I received this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. All of the opinions stated are my own.
Synopsis: 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.
I was such a happy bunny when I got approved for this book. The synopsis just sold me on the book and I knew I wanted to read it. Lately, I’ve been seeing some reviews pop up and they are all positive! So I picked up my copy and started reading, hoping that I would love it too. And I’m already going to tell you that I think this book is a gem.
Simon is such a wonderful character! He is witty and his internal thoughts made me laugh out loud several times. It makes reading from his point of view such a delight. I don’t know why but often when I read contemporary YA books, I have trouble believing that those teens are actually growing up in this age. I know they are and they use modern technology all the time but in this book, it was so much more detailed and I really believed it. For example, his school has a Tumblr page on which secrets and confessions are posted. I really believed that Simon was a teenager growing up in this day and age, which made him feel all that more real to me. To show you how much I enjoyed his wit, here’s a quote:
It’s chilly and unnaturally quiet – if Abby weren’t with me, I would have to drown out the silence with music. It feels like we’re the last survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Wonder Woman and a gay Dementor. It doesn’t bode well for the survival of the species.
Aside from Simon, there were several other characters that I really liked! First of all, Simon’s family. This book really shows the family dynamics and the struggles and fear that go with coming out to your parents. I love that the author didn’t skip over this because it is such an important part of his life. His family was hilarious. I love his sisters -who all play their roles in Simon’s life- and his parents too -especially his dad! The family definitely wasn’t perfect, but they all clearly loved each other. Here’s a quote that relates to his family -but you’ll have to read the book to understand what it’s about.
Nothing is worse than the secret humiliation of being insulted by proxy.
Then we have Simon’s friends: Leah, Nick and Abby are his best friends and all have a huge impact on his life as well -which is very realistic. They have their struggles, fights and awkward moments but overall, I enjoyed their friendship. As I said, it all seems very realistic! I did not like how Simon treated Leah from the middle part of the book onwards though… The person -aside from Simon- I loved the most though was Blue. Their emails were so funny, yet they support each other and really get to know each other -without ever even knowing who the other person is. THEY ARE SO ADORABLE.
One other person I feel like I have to talk about is Martin. Let me just say that I think what he did is terrible. Why didn’t he just ask Simon to help him instead of blackmailing him? I will never understand. But maybe he is not as bad as a person as I thought he was in the beginning. Still. I hate what he did.
I really adored Simon’s relationship with Blue. I was so curious as to who Blue actually is! And when I found out, I was not disappointed at all. JUST YOU WAIT. I can’t get over how adorable it all was. And it doesn’t just end when he finds out who it is! The story is really well wrapped up, showing not only how Simon has evolved, but the other characters as well.
I loved every single second of this book. Simon is witty and funny, has great relationships with his family and friends and doesn’t make ridiculous decisions -like a lot of fictional teenagers seem to do. This book was an absolute delight to read!