Title: Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Year Published: 2015
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24926015-simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agenda
“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.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is by far the cutest and funniest book I have read so far this year. I actually think Simon may be one of my all time favourite characters from a book. The main plot line is Simon coming to terms with being gay and falling for a guy, who he only knows as, “Blue”, but knows that they go to the same school. Simon is blackmailed by a fellow classmate who threatens to out him to the entire school. The book is written with such warmth and humour as well as being emotional.
Simon is a wonderful character. Albertalli pieces his voice together with sarcasm and warmth that really flies off the page. As the relationship between Simon & Blue blossoms, so does Simon as a character. And one thing I really liked about Simon’s character was that he recognised where he went wrong, especially in his friendship group. There’s a moment in the book where he realises that he doesn’t actually know much about his friends outside of school. And I definitely had moments like this when I was in high school/secondary school. And I have never seen that addressed anywhere before.
On the other hand though, the pacing in the book is incredibly quick. And I can’t help but think that the conclusion of Simon not really knowing his friends was put in last minute as some kind of excuse. Because we’re introduced to Nick, Abby and Leah but we don’t know a lot about them. Then again, Albertalli is writing a companion novel to this book from Leah’s POV so maybe we will get to know more about the characters then. But I still feel like the pacing in the book was a bit too fast.
This book is really sweet and has an adorable ending, which went in a direction that I didn’t think it would but I’m glad it did. The book isn’t just told in first person narrative, we also get to see the emails corresponded between Simon and Blue which really enhanced the kind of relationship that they have built. It’s a strong debut from Becky Albertalli and I’m excited to see what she publishes next.
Until next time,