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

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 7th 2015
Genre(s): YA, Romance, Contemporary, LGBT
Pages: 303


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.

After watching Love, Simon over a year ago, I finally picked up the book. The movie broke my heart yet warmed it and made me cry many tears. The book did exactly the same. A wonderful story, fantastic writing, and such raw, beautiful characters warrants a solid 5 stars. I’m putting it up there as one of my favourite contemporaries. I urge you all to check both the book and the movie out!

What I Liked

  • Simon is a wonderfully flawed and realistic character. His troubles and thoughts were depicted so well. Initially he is self-absorbed, always thinking about himself, but by the end, he really matures.
  • I love the portrayal of Simon’s internal struggles dealing with his sexuality and his personal growth, as well as his external struggles with friends, family, and society in general.
  • This book was written SO well! There are so many passages I’ve bookmarked for later reference.

People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.

  • Not only does this book talk openly about LGTBQ+ issues, it touches lightly on so many other social issues as well. I absolutely adore that about this book.
  • Simon and Brahm are tooooooooooo cute!

What I Didn’t Like

  • Sometimes I found Martin to be seriously overreacting. It was pretty annoying at times.
    • I know that’s probably the point, but come on—he was so upset and angry upon seeing Abby and Simon together even though he knew they were close friends!
  • I also didn’t love Leah’s character. I understand her feelings at some parts, but other times, it felt like she was just being dramatic.
    • I know she has her own story to tell though—I’ll have to pick up Leah on the Offbeat to find out more.
  • This isn’t particularly something I disliked about the book, but something I think I prefer of the movie version (GASP, I know). The scenes where Simon comes out to his parents and family was just done so well and made me so much more emotional.

Special Comments

  • It’s sometimes hard for me to pick up the book after seeing its movie adaptation, but I’m so glad I did with this one.
  • In my opinion, both the book and the movie presented the author’s message beautifully!

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read YA romance. Since it’s pride month, it’s the perfect time to read this if you haven’t!

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