Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simon

Details & Summary:

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: April 7th 2015
Pages: 320

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.

Since I’m (impatiently) waiting for The Upside of Unrequited I thought I’d finally read the book that made Becky Albertalli a best-selling author. Simon vs. was (and still is) a highly praised book in the reading and blogging community. I’m not sure why I hadn’t read it before. Having just read it, I definitely kicking myself for waiting so long. 

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my honest opinion on Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda…

My thoughts

Okay, you guys, I get all the hype now. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is such fun, light, and adorable read! I fell in love with Simon, who’s smart and funny and a little sassy but above all completely realistic.

“I take a sip of my beer, and it’s – I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting. I don’t think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I’d rather make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin.”

Realistic is the best word to sum up this book. I like how the author developed the relationships and friendships in this book.

First of all, yay for having good, solid friendships where not everything is rainbows and sunshine all the time. Simon and his friends fight sometimes, they leave people out, they get left out, they get pissed off … but they always make up and they support each other. Realistic.

I love his friends by the way. A special shoutout goes to Abby who’s just absolutely wonderful. She has such a positive vibe it’s not hard to imagine why there are several characters in love with her.

“Did you just tell us you’re gay?” asks Nick.

“Yes.”

“Okay,” he says. Abby swats him. “What?”

“That’s all you’re going to say? Okay?”

“He said not to make a big deal out of it,” Nick says. “What am I supposed to say?”

“Say something supportive. I don’t know. Or awkwardly hold his hand like I did. Anything”

Nick and I look at each other.

“I’m not holding your hand,” I tell him, smiling a little.

“All right”–he nods–“but know that I would.”

Second, yay for Simon having siblings and parents who are around and who he has an actual relationship with. A lot of times, siblings and parents get pushed to the background (or completely disappear) so it was nice to read about his family dynamic. Which was interesting to say the least. I loved how his parents were trying so hard to be cool and how they all watched the Bachelor together and scrolled through their Facebook feeds on Christmas. There were some problems within the family but, again, that’s what made it all the more real.

“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.”  

I’ve read more than a few books where gay characters (are forced to) come out to their friends and parents, but I haven’t seen it done the way Albertalli did it. Usually, either everyone is very loving and accepting or it’s the other way around. But in Simon Vs, I think there’s a good mixture of both. The characters who you want to be supportive (friends, family) are, but the author doesn’t hesitate to include and point out the homophobia in a high school in Georgia. And, yes, those moments really suck and I felt bad for Simon but, overall, I think he handled the situation really well. Especially considering he was forced to come out before he was ready.

“It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.”

Lastly, I’m going to wrap up this review by talking about the romance. I mean, how can I not when it’s so cute and adorable?

I loved reading their emails. They’re funny to read (especially Simon’s) and very grammatical (especially Blue’s) and you get to know the characters better through reading them. And I liked the mystery of it all. I had no idea who Blue was until he revealed himself. Looking back, there was a lot of foreshadowing which Simon and I completely missed but neither of us were disappointed about who Blue turned out to be. And when they’re finally together, they’re cute and adorable and they have you grinning like an idiot.

Rating

Have you read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda? What did you think? Are you excited about the movie?

 

14 thoughts on “Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

  1. I’m so, so, SO happy you loved this book. I agree with you, it was such a realistic book with great characters, everything just felt so REAL, and that’s what I love the mooost in contemporaries, really. I smiled like an idiot the whole time as well. Couldn’t help myself ahah.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I’d heard a lot of positive things about Simon vs., but I never expected to like it this much. Simon is a breath of fresh air to me. He’s dealing with some issues (such as being blackmailed and coming out as gay to his family and friends) but he’s never angsty. He’s actually a really cool, down-to-earth person who I’d love as a best friend. Oh, and Blue is absolutely precious. And don’t forget about Abby! Man, I wish I could be friends with all of them. I can’t wait for the movie! […]

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