Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Publication: April 7th, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 303
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Romance
Source: Bought from Barnes & Noble
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.
(Highlight to see spoilers)
Okay so I wasn’t expecting literary greatness from this book. I wanted a fun, cute, feel-good contemporary that I knew I’d like. And yeah I got it. So I’m just going to most likely go on to flail uncontrollably about how much I absolutely loved this book.
Simon is one-of-a-kind. Simon is queen. Simon is freaking hilarious. He’s well characterized and flawed. He loves Harry Potter (who doesn’t?) and talks about fandom teenager stuff and ugh I loved it. He’s like the best guy friend that I’ve always wanted. He’s sassy as fuck and has an amazing story and voice to go with it.
I wish his friends were slightly more developed. There were a few that we only got to see a brief glimpse of. While the relationships they had with Simon were well done, the character themselves were quite flat. I wish that wasn’t the case because some of them had a lot of potential.
BLUE IS BAE. He’s such a sweet guy! We learn so much about him through the emails and his character is so well done. At the end, when we finally figure out who he is, it’s as if we knew him the whole time because well, we did. I wasn’t really trying to figure out who Blue was. I didn’t want to break my head trying to crack the clues at the time and I kind of figured it’d be someone “unexpected” but it was so entertaining reading about how Simon freaked out about everything. Their relationship was really cute.
I felt like there was the use of a lot of tropes in the book. There were the drama queens, the nerds, the jocks, etc. etc. I wasn’t expecting They all felt one-dimensional to me but there were a few that broke the mold and surprised me in the end with their actions. Very much appreciated because not all of them are the same! At one point, Taylor, a drama club member that was labelled over and over as being a show-off and brat was shown to actually care for her fellow club members. During a rehearsal, a bunch of jocks went in and began to bully Simon. Taylor was one of the people that immediately jumped off stage and went to confront them. It was totally unexpected and made me love how the author went on to show that tropes are only shallow representations of a real character.
I also have a small bone to pick with one aspect of the plot. Obviously, at some point, Simon’s secret gets out. While I loved the overwhelming support he received from his friends and family, I thought it was a bit unrealistic for his school to react as such. By that I mean the bullying was a little candy-coated and mild. Although I think that, I’m still pretty happy about it because the book itself was so fun to read.
Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda has been getting a lot of reviews about how cute it was (And I agree! I mean, everything I said above is pretty much about how cute it was) but I wanna talk about the themes and messages in the book.
On the surface, it looks like your everyday LGBTQ romance. But Simon’s revelations and the things that I learned and realized from the book were just as monumental as the impact it had on my mood. Simon is flawed. He’s not the best friend. He’s a little impulsive. What ended up triggering some of the changes he has is the realization that he doesn’t always know anything about anybody. I related to this so much. All through middle school I felt really awkward around some of my classmates. They always formed large friend groups where they only kind of knew things about each other. And I never understood this. I’d rather have a few best friends than a bunch that I didn’t know too well. I’m getting a bit off topic but the point is that I understood how Simon felt when he realized that he didn’t know anything about his friends. And naturally, it made me wonder if the people I thought were my best friends considered me their’s.
So while there were some parts that were treated too simply (bullying), the other parts made me really think about myself. This book is definitely, without a doubt, is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a while. Equal parts cute and memorable, Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda isn’t perfect but it’s a great book for anybody feeling down. I loved it!
I got a little personal in that review. I hope it doesn’t bother you guys but I just really needed to include it. It wouldn’t have felt right otherwise. I’m also really tempted to just bump it up half a star to make it five stars but I feel like although it was close, it’s not completely there yet. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just too picky. -.-
I know this book has been pretty big around the community! What did you guys think of it?