Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertall
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 2015
Page Count: 303 (Hardcover)
Age Recommendation: 13
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. ~ Goodreads
I really wanted to see the movie coming out in March called Love, Simon (which, by the way, was a lovely adaptation of the book. I would recommend it.) Since it was a book first, the Book Nerd Right of passage states that you have to read the book before you see the movie. If not to enjoy the original world and story, but to annoy your friends throughout the movie with comments like “In the book…” and a false sense of superiority. Granted that there was a lot of hype surrounding both the book and movie, I expected it to be mediocre at best and satanic at worst. Still though, I always seem to have a way to always get caught up in the hype, and I had some pretty high expectations.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda starts off seemingly in the middle of his story. His relationship with ‘Blue’ has already been established. He’s a closeted gay kid in a sort of homophobic school. He’s in love with someone who he knows as a person but not what they look like, or their real name. Drama (hehehe), fluff, and some angst ensue.
I just love love love love love this book? For so many reasons. It started out slow, and it was a little jolting to be thrown into a world when you don’t really know what the heck is going on. Despite that, Simon‘s strengths and charming story completely outshine these few weaknesses.
First off, Simon is such a relatable character. He’s sweet, dorky, funny, confused, and very very human. He says the wrong things sometimes and the author allows for him to make mistakes, and that’s what makes him great. He’s a wonderful representation of a teenager in general.
And Blue. Oh my gosh, Blue is such an adorable character. Both online and in person I was just so??? In platonic love with him??? He’s so sweet and shy and basically bubbles and sunny skies and rainbows and sparkles and everything wonderful.
And all the other characters? (Besides Martin) Lovely. Best. Beautiful. Amazing. Their dynamics were all so wonderful and real and YES.
It was a YA romance novel, but it actually wasn’t overly cheesy. And when it was cheesy, that was the entire point and was what made it good. The trope (friends to lovers, next door neighbor, etc.) stayed far away from this book, while still providing the pining and feels that I wanted.
I finished this late on a school night, and I wanted more. Even though I feared the brain cannibalism that my friend told me about (caused by sleep depravation,) I would have been willing to pull an all nighter just to see how the story ended. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of those books that stays warm in your heart long after you’ve finished the story.
This is me, after finishing, and realizing that it’s over:
“What’s a dementor?”
I mean, I can’t even. “Nora, you are no longer my sister.”
“So it’s some Harry Potter thing,” she says.
I take a sip of my beer, and it’s – I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting.
Really, though, there are only two kinds of weather: hoodie weather and weather where you wear a hoodie anyway.