Author: Becky Albertalli
Publication date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC gifted by author (Thank you, Becky Albertalli!)
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.
*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads
A MUST-READ debut this year, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda explores the issue of sexuality and the idea of “coming out”. It is an LGBT novel that would appeal to YA fans of all ages regardless of gender and sexual orientation. The book brilliantly conveys the essence of bravery that inspires readers to take a leap of faith no matter how frightening it seems. It may be difficult at the beginning, but it’s something you’d be proud to have done. Being true to who you are is the best gift you’ll ever give to yourself. Don’t be afraid to come out to the world. Be the YOU that you want to be and that’s all that matters.
With a captivating and genuine voice, Simon Spier is a one of a kind character who is like an actual friend. Despite the fact that he’s fictional, Simon is the best gay friend I ever had. He’s geeky, witty, smart, ruminative, and easy to identify with! If Simon were a living, breathing person, we’d definitely bond over Classic Oreos, theater, Harry Potter, and golden retrievers! Ahhhhh! I want to hug him so badly! 🙂 The secondary characters—Simon’s family, friends, and cast mates in the stage play he’s part of—are all incredible. Their diverse qualities added extra appeal to the story’s already striking flavor. Also, the portrayal of friendship in Simon is remarkably realistic. Readers would see how characters deal with changes, how they handle misunderstandings, and every single thing that friends go through. Certainly just like in real life!
Coated with the mouth-watering sweetness of Oreo cookies, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda has a super adorable, grin inducing, and flail worthy sort of romance. Believe me, you’d be smiling and releasing happy sighs most of the time. Before Simon and Blue met in person, they’ve been communicating through email, both without knowledge of one another’s true identities. Intriguing, right? But what impressed me was how their love story developed over email. They started out very friendly, which was so cute by the way! You know, with both characters exchanging funny stories and stuff about themselves that they’ve never shared to anyone. Their emails were such a delight to read! It was marvelous to witness two people chat and confide in each other comfortably, even if they only have a vague mental picture of whom they are talking to. Oh and the blackmail plot is very engaging. It was actually a great way to set the story in motion! I was hooked from page one!
As time went by, the friendship Simon and Blue built transformed into something deeper, something that involves romantic feelings that would definitely put any reader in a good mood. So if you want to experience all the fluffy, butterflies in your tummy, sparks are flying, walking on sunshine feels, READ THIS BOOK! The highlight of the romance was of course the mystery and suspense of finding out who Blue is. Oh my goodness! I was really keen on discovering his real name and what he looks like! In fact, I had two prospects, yet both of which were not Blue! So the revelation was quite a surprise to me because the person was my least expected one. But for all that, Simon and Blue’s first face-to-face meeting was absolute perfection and pure joy. I was very glad with how things turned out for them!
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda depicts the complex yet amazing teenage experience with utmost ease and authenticity. To me, that’s the core of YA contemporary—being able to reflect reality in a believable way. So two thumbs up for that!
Becky Albertalli’s writing is a breath of fresh air! Reading Simon was like meeting someone very fascinating, thus, harboring a desire to know that person more. Clever and entertaining, Becky’s words glue your eyes onto the page. She brings on the feels that are incredibly natural and oh so wonderful! For sure, Becky is on my list of auto-buy/auto-read/favorite authors. 🙂
An effervescent and uplifting coming of age story, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a spectacular book that fills your heart with the warm glow of infinite bliss.