Book Reviews

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

19547856.jpgEdition:Β Paperback, 303 pages
Genre:Β Young Adult, Contemporary, GLBT, Romance
Published April 7th 2015 by Penguin
Rating:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
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 outβ€”without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

REVIEW

β€œIt 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.”

This book is my very first GBTQ read and I absolutely LOVED it. Simon is the most realistic character I have ever read about. He was funny, sassy, sweet but at the same time makes mistakes like any other person in the world. You can see that he is way more open when it comes to his emails with Blue than when he was narrating his life. On the other hand, I loved how Blue was so mysterious but at the same time is slowly opening up to Simon. He started flirting with him that at some point I was smiling so hard I felt like my cheeks was going to drop. I was guessing with Simon throughout the book to see who he was and I can say… I was as shocked as him when they FINALLY MET! I didn’t really think it was him! Didn’t even cross my mind AT ALL!

The entire cast of characters each played an important role in this book. This is what makes this such a joy to read. Every character is fully realized no matter how much time they are given throughout the story. It doesn’t just revolve around Simon and Blue. In a way I felt like every character in this book has their own way of coming out. I even felt respect from Martin, who I loathed at first for blackmailing my baby Simon, that he accepted what he had done wrong and apologized for it. It actually made me ‘awwwwed’Β when he said that if it would happen again he would blackmail Simon to be his friend. I also really enjoyed reading about Simon’s family. You can tell that they weren’t as perfect and it’s the most realistic representation of a family in a novel.

There is so much that is happening in this book that sometimes I needed to take a break and just collect my thoughts about what the heck is happening. I loved that it doesn’t only focus on the coming out part but also deals with Simon’s family, friends and the misunderstandings each of the characters have gone throughout the story. I feel like I have read a few books with the subject of growing up and coming to terms with who they are but I felt this book was different. It just felt so real and it’s not impossible for someone to experience what Simon had in the story.

You can actually learn so much from this. How it’s not that easy to come out and be proud of who you are cause you can’t help thinking what others might say. But even though it’s hard and you may face A LOT of trials you just have to remind yourself that as long as YOU and the people important to you accepts what you are you can do anything. You just have to be brave enough to go through with it and always keep in mind that if you yourself can’t accept it how will you make people believe in it.

It always starts with you.

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4 thoughts on “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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