Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Written by: Becky Albertalli
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Pages: 303, Hardback
Series: None, Standalone
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Thanks to HarperCollins for both the book and the chance to meet Becky!

Book

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.

LetsTalk

I’m not immune, I’d seen this one floating around in the blogger community, and I’d heard nothing but good about it. So when I got the chance to meet Becky and get a copy of Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda I knew I had to jump on it. I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting when I started the book, contemporary is slowly growing on me, I’ll admit that, but it’s still not the genre that I go crazy for whenever there’s a new release. But with the rave reviews I just couldn’t pass this one up. Well grab yourself an Oreo and have a seat because I have things to say about this one.

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda was adorable. I loved the interactions between people, from parents to teenagers. I think all of the characters felt pretty dang real. Which is what a contemporary really hinges on, and it’s why I think this one is a winner.

The whole story takes place over quite a decent chunk of time, it lets all of the relationships grow and change and form into new relationships by the end. No matter if that’s just friendship or a true relationship. I loved seeing the characters slowly grow and change.

Didn'tWork

This book isn’t without its faults, one of the biggest faults I found with Simon Vs was the near constant pop culture references. Now it’s not that I disliked them, I actually started listening to some of the music from the book. But, I read this book a week after release. What’s it going to be like someone picking this book up a year from now or five years? The book is absolutely time stamped 2015.

At the start of the book Albertalli introduces approximately five thousand characters. All of them play different roles in the book and all of them mean something else to Simon. I’m not sure if she was trying to hide Blue’s identity in there, or if she wanted to show how large Simon’s support group was. Either way as a reader it was super difficult at the start to keep all of the names straight and figure out who exactly was who. Now once the book got rolling it became easier to keep names and characters straight but at the start? Ouch.

DidWork

The cuteness. Oh my god you guys. I spent the last few chapters grinning like a moron and laughing at absolutely everything. I literally couldn’t stop grinning. I handed this book to my mother and at the same point she just hugged the book to her chest and squealed stomping her feet. This book just wins in the cuteness. I can’t really say more about it because spoilers. But just trust me. I adored this stupid book so so so much. I just was so happy.

There are elements of this book that I can see many struggling with, coming out, being who you are, and all of them are handled with class and in ways that people can relate to. I loved so much about how this was handled that I think it’s really a great book for people who’re struggling.

I was surprised by who Blue was, now I know several, several people who figured it out very quickly. I didn’t really look for clues, I just went with the story. But I think even if I had figured out who Blue was it wouldn’t have bothered me. It was nice seeing emails between Simon and Blue, mostly because I have a lot of online friends, and so it felt natural to me. Although I will say as someone who is an avid email checker sometimes the times between emails seemed a little long haha

Pickup

Yessss. Like this book should totally be on your radar and it should be one you snag sooner rather than later.

Sondra

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