Monday, April 6, 2015

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Review

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 320
Keywords: first love, LGBT, friendship
Format Read: ARC via publisher (thank you!)
Goodreads | Buy It!
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.
   THE COVER
I don't really have a ton to say about the cover I don't think. No strong opinions one way or the other.

   WHY I LIKED IT
Oh, let me count the ways.
1. The romance — Simon is having his first real romance entirely through email, which is kind of cool because now that's the "archaic" communication form. They don't text or call to protect each other's identities, but as the story progresses, they both realize they are ready for something more and something real.
2. The friendship — Wow, were these friendships complicated, realistic, and well-thought out. Nick, Abby, and Leah help Simon through the rough times he faces at school when all hell breaks loose. There's also the fact that Simon now has to tell his best friends he's gay — which is no easy feat. He's tired of coming out. And brings up an excellent point why straight people don't have to come out after his parents celebrate seemingly strange milestones in his life and he gets embarrassed.
But the friendships are truly what make this book. My best friend came out in high school, and I know how scared he was to tell me, afraid it would ruin the foundation we had built our friendship on the last few years. Watching Simon struggle with the same thing made my heart ache and I wanted to hug him and be his real life friend even though, you know, he's in a book.
3. The dialogue — It's like the author time-warped straight back to high school and recorded down what all these kids are saying. There was funny, awkward, cute, straight up weird, and everything in between. No matter the gender or orientation, I felt like I knew every kid in the book and connected with them as teenagers rather than fictional people.

   RESERVATIONS?
I want to say none. Really. I did have a tiny issue for like a half second about how fast Simon changed his mind about this one guy, but then I was like, that's high school! Truly, kids change their minds all the time and go back and forth on decisions, and as soon as I realized that, that reservation just shot right out.

   THE SHOCK VALUE
At the beginning, I had no clue who Blue was, and I really liked that. As the story progressed, I found myself guessing at every single character, thinking that it could be them! But, I was able to figure it out before the character was revealed. Even so, I still loved it, and knowing a bit before didn't make me sad or disappointed. In fact, it almost made me more excited to keep reading and see Simon's reaction.

   FINAL THOUGHTS
This is an important book for bringing up LGBT issues and lifestyle to both those who have questions about it and those who are a part of it. Because people are people, and everyone's just looking for love. It was an abordable, hopeful story about what everyone really wants out of life. And oreos.

1 comment:

  1. Everything you said is perfect! I completely agree. I'm also usually disappointed when I figure out who the mystery character is before it's revealed, but in this case, I was so excited for Simon to meet him! I loved this one. Great review!

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