Book Review – Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I saw this book on a number of peoples TBR lists and it sounded like something I would be interested in reading. I’m actually pretty certain this was my first LGBT novel. I’ve read a number of books where there are homosexual characters, but this was my first where it happened to be the main character. I do read manga so I have come across some yaoi (male x male) stories that I’ve enjoyed, making me not new to the topic. I guess I just never really thought about it while looking for non-manga books. But I’m extremely glad that I picked this one up. So, without further ado, my review on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Goodreads summary:

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.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

If one happens to scroll through my ‘read’ shelf on Goodreads, they’d notice that I don’t have many books on it that aren’t fantasy or supernatural based. What can I say? ‘Normal life’ plot-based books don’t usually intrigue me. It’s most likely because I wish my own life was more exciting (don’t we all?) and reading about someone else’s typical every-day life (that has no fantasy-based elements) just doesn’t do it for me. But with this book I didn’t even care. It was freaking adorable and I loved it.

Let’s start off with the characters. Simon. He was an awesome main character. His sense of humor and the fact that he loves Harry Potter made him very likable, to me at least. I also found him quite relatable because, like myself, he’s nosy and uses the terms ‘freaking’ and ‘just saying’ often. His three best friends, Nick, Leah, and Abby were all fun characters and the reader was able to see how Simon reacted with each one a bit differently. There was some typical high school drama between them, but obviously it’s to be expected in a high school based book. Martin, the guy blackmailing Simon, was also a pretty fun character. I had a kind of ‘like-dislike’ thing going on with him throughout the book, much like Simon did. Simon’s entire family was great as well. Again, very relatable.

And then there’s Blue, the guy Simon has been emailing. As I’ve mentioned in some of my other posts, I’m not a very mushy kind of person, but reading the emails between Blue and Simon was just…gah. Emotions. The emails were adorable and hilarious. Throughout the whole book the reader is obviously trying to figure out who Blue is. My guess jumped around so much. I thought it was one person but then it seemed like it was too obvious, so I switched to another, then another. Let’s just say I wasn’t completely surprised to find out who it was. I was definitely happy about it.

I also really enjoyed Albertalli’s writing style. It flowed well and it was very ‘to-the-point’. No unnecessary descriptions of how the school was twenty shades of brown or anything like that. Don’t get me wrong, detailed description is great, especially when you’re trying to picture a scene in your head, but sometimes I feel it’s simply irrelevant. Depends on the situation I guess. Maybe that’s just me.

So yeah, go read this book. I read it in a couple of hours yesterday. I read books I really enjoy quickly, so that’s saying something. Otherwise it normally takes me a week or so. Once again, it depends, but still. Do it.

Happy reading! :)