Book Title: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is funny, enjoyable, and heart-warming.
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 with, 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.
Every once in a while, there comes a book that will change the way you think, blow your mind, and make you see the world from different perspective. But some times, all you need is a book that makes you smile and believe that there’s hope in this world, and that love matters. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the latter. It was told from first person perpective of a junior named Simon Spier. Simon is smart, has a cool family and friends that love him. However, he’s been keeping a secret, he is gay and is tangled in online relationship with a guy he called Blue. One day, he forgot to log out from his email in school’s library and his private conversation with Blue was read and screencapped by his school friend (Pay attention kids! Always log out from public computer). Blackmail ensued, friendships were tested, love was found, and between it all, he still has to attend school, rehearse for school drama, Oliver!, and deal with his parents—who always make a big deal out of everything he does.
The parts that I love
Simon Spier. By now, I have accepted the fact that I prefer sarcastic nerdy guys to bad boys. There are times when I don’t agree with what Simon did, but overall he’s a very likable narrator. (Also, he loves Harry Potter and ships Harry/Draco!) I feel for him when things don’t turn out the way he expected, and I root for him throughout the book.
His friends. I really really like the girls, both Leah and Abby. I understand why there’s a rivalry between them, but just like Simon, I refuse to choose between them. My precious angels. *group hugs* I like pretty much all of his friends, even Taylor Metternich.
His sisters. Both of Simon’s sisters, Alice and Nora, are really cool. I would want them as my own sisters if only I don’t already have two (very cool, very nice sisters—just in case they read this blog). I like how close Simon is to his family, which is refreshing because it’s a kind of thing I rarely found in contemporary young-adults these days.
Ms. Albright. I would bring her a big bouquet of flowers.
The parts that I don’t like
Blue. I don’t hate Blue. He’s just… not interesting for me. Also, I found out who he is before Simon does, and I think you would to. The clues were just there.
However, I like the person who turned out to be Blue. I know, man, it’s weird. I just don’t like the version of him that wrote the emails, but I like the person described by Simon. I guess it’s because I like Simon, so once Blue was introduced throughout Simon’s eyes, I like him, but when it was just his emails, I do not really care about him.
I binge-read this book in like 6 hours when I was supposed to be reading two other books in my TBR. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is addictive, funny, and sweet. We certainly need more diverse books, both character-wise and theme-wise. As it turned out, it’s refreshing to see a book about a gay teenager surrounded by friends and family and teacher who support him. Simon was still a victim of bullies, which shows you that even with strong support system, something could (and would) still go wrong. Overall, it IS a great book, the one you would want your children to read to let them know that it could be okay.
4 stars (out of 5 stars)