Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | One Gay Relationship Takes the World by Surprise

19547856Sixteen-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.

Discussion:

"Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi, or whatever."

4/5 stars

After putting down both Hath No Fury and Bonjour Girl, I felt helpless. I questioned whether or not any of the books I started reading would appeal to me. I questioned my identity as a reader. I questioned whether or not I would leave my journey alive or in a trench crying into a new favorite book. Once I started reading Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I had different questions. I questioned why I had no Oreos in my house. Or why I never had picked this book up sooner. Or why I wasn't tracked down, stowed on the back of a dragon, and flown to the library or bookstore to get my very own copy of this book OR ELSE! This book was the perfect read for right now, especially since finals are done and I am a scared chicken.

Simon Spier, a sixteen year old kid, is going through high school and trying to get through his life. He gets good grades, is loyal to his best friends, and tries to be a normal kid. The thing is that he is gay, and he doesn't know how to tell anyone except for the guy he has been talking to through the use of emails. He knows everything about Blue except his identity*. Blue can be anyone at Creekwood High, the high school Simon and almost everyone he knows attends; however, things get worse when Martin Addison takes screenshots of Simon and Blue's private emails and threatens to tell everyone that Simon is gay unless if he helps him get a date with Abby, one of Simon's friends. Reading Simon's journey as he learns to be proud of who he is is definitely a rollercoaster that I am glad I read.

*You could say that's an identity crisis.:D

Next, the characters are really everything! I loved reading each of the characters in all the different situations. Simon is not my favorite character. Although he is very funny and makes every situation humorous when it probably shouldn't, like me, he is overly dramatic, especially when he has to chose between two guys who obviously like him. He kept saying he was never going to find anyone, which can be true due to people in high school being self-conscious about literally everything so coming out might be tough. Plus, he doesn't know who Blue is. My argument is dying in between my child-size hands. It is just that it sounds like he is a hopeless human being who cannot find love when he has with Blue, whom he takes for granted. Anyway, I love Blue! And, I love that I won the mystery! Blue is awesome, and I LOVED finding out his identity. I am glad that he is not used as a pawn to show Simon who he truly is but is an actual character with a personality and depth to him. Also, Simon's closest friends and family are awesome and great, except for Leah as she is whiny and annoying. Everyone is so supportive of each other and is willing to find the most amount of Oreos to make everyone happy. It is so great to see that not all families are a bunch of assassins who go against each other to become the ruler of Oreos and other cookies!

Also, Becky Albertalli is so hilarious. Not even fifty pages in, I started laughing until I could do nothing but flail on the ground. One of my favorite scenes is when Simon goes to a party and has one beer. In order for someone who has not read this book to understand my feelings, I have included the scene.

"I take a sip of my beer, and it's-I mean, it's just astonishingly disgusting. I don't think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy f*cking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I'd make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin."

"'Simon, how much did you drink?' asks Leah. I'm twisting the ends of her hair. Leah's hair is so pretty, and it smells exactly like French toast. Except that's Abby. Leah smells like almonds.

'One beer.' One most excellent, most delicious beer."

These lines had me cackling and just laughing crazily. Once I calmed down, I started reciting the lines for my family. I think I got my brother interested in this book, but I think he is only interested since he likes the color red. As long as a book humors me in a good way, that book gets a pretty good rating from me. Also, Albertalli takes any serious situation and makes it humorous and, somehow, lighthearted. I want this talent.

Although I may not have found this book to be the most perfect and best read in the universe, I believe this book is important for everyone to read. As this story has to deal with Simon going through what could be thought as an identity crisis with his sexuality and how he should handle it, it shows a great deal in someone coming out as something other than straight. Albertalli always points out that the default for a lot of people, depending on the person and their experiences, is almost always straight for sexuality and Caucasian, or white, for race. The default for a person's sexual orientation can be pointed out by the first quote written at the top; the default for a person's race is shown while Simon is emailing Blue and just assumes Blue is Caucasian. This book can teach people to be who they truly are. No matter what you are-straight, gay, bisexual, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and so so so many others-be yourself. Anyone can read this book and still relate to something Albertalli is trying to communicate through her story of one kid coming out. Thumbs up for diversity!

In conclusion,


I ended at an emotional point, but this book can make a person feel all the emotions. One moment I would be laughing out loud due to one of Albertalli's classic witty scenes and, the next moment, be sad at the emotional struggles Simon has to jump through. I highly recommend this book. The message, the humor, and all the amazingness this novel contains is perfect and should be spread to everyone.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy your next read! Also, READ THIS!!!!

Love,
newbookcats

Have you read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda or seen Love, Simon? How was your experience? Do you get hungry when a book describes food? What is your favorite dessert? Do you think you can solve the mystery of Blue? Are you excited that there is more diversity within books as the years go on? Do you have any recommendations for books that are like Simon? Chat with me in the comments below or on any of my social medias.

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Comments

  1. I just read this book last month and loved it too. so much. I agree with everything you said. :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI LILI! It is so nice to talk to you! *hugs computer in hopes of you receiving said hug* Oh, yes, this book is so good! Also, I read your mind while writing this review, so that might be the reason why you agree with me so much. Or, it might be the fact that I am an emotion-filled robot who is going to take over the world and you want to be among the fluffy cat fur babies! I hope you enjoy any of Albertalli's other books if you get around to them! Have a great day!

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  2. I really enjoyed this book as well, and it definitely made me crave Oreos, haha. Simon and Bram are the cutest. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this book made me crave all the Oreos and the milk in the world, especially when Bram and Simon went to the grocery store. It broke my heart! I am so happy that you enjoyed this book! I love this book as well as it is so perfectly unperfect!

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