Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an honest and funny book, written by Becky Albertalli.
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 shoved into the spotlight. Now Simon is being blackmailed and 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 dynamics in his friendship group changing and his emails with Blue becoming more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten complicated. Now Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out – somehow without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or losing his shot at happiness with the most confusing, yet adorable guy he’s never met.
So this is a book that I’ve been hearing a lot about recently. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. All of the things I’ve heard have been good things, so I thought I’d give this book a go. It honestly feels like I’m the last person to have read this book! Better late than never, I guess. And this book was definitely worth my time. I couldn’t be happier that I decided to pick up this book. For those of you who don’t know, this book revolves around this guy named Simon who is gay. I really really like reading YA with LGBTQ+ characters because I feel like these people are really underrepresented in literature. However, we are seeing some more of these books now with not only with this one, but also with The Flywheel and Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You and I guess to an extent the Mortal Instruments series, plus more that I can’t think of at the moment. It’s actually really fitting that I read this book at this point in time because my school just started up a LGBTQ+ club at my school and I showed support for my LBGTQ+ friends and went to the meeting. Love who you love, people!
So while we’re on the subject of LGBTQ+, I think it’s only suitable that we discuss Simon. Simon is just the most honest, realistic, smart, funny and adorable character I’ve probably ever read about. He was what made this book so unique and entertaining. He’s a sassy gay teenager with perfect grammar and he loves Oreos. What more could you want in a person? I guess what I want is for Simon to exist outside of this novel so I can adopt him as my new best friend. I also loved seeing his character develop. In the beginning, he was really conscious about making sure no one discovered he was gay because he didn’t want anyone to know. As the novel progressed, he came to realise that it’s better to be who you are and be happy rather than be someone you’re not for the sake of other people and hate yourself because of it. And a main theme of this book was to accept who you are and to accept other people, even though they might seem different to us. Simon raised a really important point – ‘white shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default’.
Another thing I loved about this book was the air of mystery about it. We know that Simon is emailing someone named ‘Blue’ and that he goes to Simon’s school, but we don’t know who Blue is until the very end. I was always trying to guess which character Blue was and look for any hints, but I was totally clueless. However, I was more than happy with who it turned out to be. I was just as surprised as Simon about learning who Blue was, and I loved that! Contemporaries with a bit of mystery are the best. Let me tell you, Blue and Simon are the cutest couple ever. Their moments together, even via email, made me smile and swoon and fall head over heels for their relationship.
While we’re on the topic of characters, I suppose I should talk about all the other wonderful characters in this book. But before I do, let me say one thing. Okay, knowing me, it’s probably going to be more than one thing, but let’s see! All of the characters in this book, even the really really minor ones, were incredibly well-written. Each character had their set of defining characteristics and traits and flaws and they we’re at all one-dimensional or conformed to their stereotypes. Simon’s family was also really awesome to get to know. I loved how he had so much support from his family and how they accepted him for who he really is. It was really heartwarming that they were so understanding and how learning Simon was gay didn’t change anything for them. I really think that’s the way our society should be. I don’t think that ‘coming out’ should have to be a thing because like Simon said, ‘straight’ shouldn’t be a default and that we shouldn’t assume a person’s sexuality and it shouldn’t even matter all that much to us. But that’s a rant for another day. I’ll just say that 100% supportive of every single one of you.
Friendship was also a thing that I found was really realistically portrayed in this book. I loved how even though Simon and Leah and Abby and Nick all shared a certain connection, that didn’t stop them from fighting sometimes or getting jealous of one another. It was great to see that their relationships weren’t unrealistically positive. One thing that I would have liked to have seen more of was Nick and Leah. I feel like while I got to know them, I could have known them better. However, I can understand that this book is mostly focussed on Simon’s journey and Blue and therefore Simon’s friends didn’t need to be so prominent that I could see into their souls.
One thing that made this book really stand out was that some of the narrative was told in the emails that Blue and Simon sent one another. Reading those emails gave us a lot of knowledge about both Simon and Blue. I could definitely see how Simon fell in love with him. Those email exchanges were honestly the cutest things. I just really loved the writing style of this novel. It was so well-written and honest. This book also deals with some pretty hard subjects in an exceptional way. Bullying, blackmailing and finding and expressing ourselves and our identity are all topics included and I’m really happy we got to explore those issues. This book was amazingly addictive as well. I finished this book in a day and honestly, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. A part of me wanted to savour it and nibble away at it for a few days, but I ended up completely devouring it. Talk about self control.
This book was exactly what I had hoped for, even more so. It was honest and humorous and a lot of fun to read. I’d give Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli a score of 10 out of 10. So tell me – have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you love Simon and Blue? Is this book on your TBR? Let’s discuss all things Simon! XD