I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
on 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.
I have to admit, I jumped about like an over-excited puppy when I got approved for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I had been wanting to read it since it was first announced and had been keeping an eye on Netgalley for it coming up for review. Was it worth the wait? Definitely. In fact, I would say it is the best book I have read so far this year.
I am not going to rehash the story as it is pretty well-described in the above blurb and I would be afraid of giving away any spoilers. This book is meant to be enjoyed with little to no knowledge of the story. I think knowing too much about it beforehand would actually have ruined the book for me. I was swept up in the story itself, and was guessing along with Simon about who Blue really was.
Simon was an awesome protagonist. He was funny, too smart for his own good, nerdy, and just plain adorable. I really related to him and since we spend the entire book in his head, that is a very good thing! I would imagine that Simon would be the kind of main character that most people will like or relate to. Although, if you don’t connect with him it might be a pretty hard book to read as most of the book’s charm relies on Simon himself. He is sweet and kind and had me in stitches throughout the book. The kid is just plain funny! His internal dialogue had me chortling away to myself more than a few times.
“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.”
The supporting characters were a joy as well. I loved Simon’s family and his group of friends. They were the type of people I wished I had been friends with in high school. They were all really supportive of each other and it was nice to see in a young adult book. Too many times, the default is truly terrible friends so I love it when a book has realistically depicted friendships. Not everything in free-sailing and without drama and angst but this group are there for each other when the chips are down.
The love story was very sweet albeit a little short when it actually got going (I need moar romance dammit!) but I loved how naturally it came together and the chemistry was definitely sizzling. I really do not want to say any more though in case I accidentally let something slip!
The only character I really didn’t like (or outright loathed at one point) was Martin. Honestly, threatening to out someone is the lowest of the low. I really couldn’t understand why Martin would do such a thing, especially when he had some first-hand (alright second-hand) experience of the struggles that people face with coming out to their loved ones. I had absolutely no sympathy for him at all and though there were times Simon didn’t deal with the situation particularly well, I wanted to give Martin a slap for putting him in that position to begin with.
This is a charming and delightfully cute story. It was definitely a worthwhile read and one I can foresee myself re-reading again in the future. I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be on the look-out for any future releases by Becky Albertalli.