Friday, April 15, 2016

Novel Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance; LGBTQ+
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: April 2015
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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:

The cover is just kind of okay for me. I don't dislike it, but I don't love it either. It's not really eye-catching, the headless thing is kind of weird. I do like the word bubble for the title, and the colors and grainy-ness work. But otherwise it's just kind of meh.


“Don’t you think everyone should have to come out? 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. I’m just saying.” (Hardback, pg. 146) “White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.” (Pg. 269)

When his classmate Martin finds out that Simon is gay, he blackmails him into helping him get a date with Simon’s friend Abby. Feeling forced into it so he doesn’t come out before he’s ready, or cause problems with his mystery email buddy Blue, he attempts, but isn’t very good at it really. And he’s more focused on Blue than anything else.
I like how honest and realistic this book seemed, with the whole subject matter. Simon decides to come out to some people, and is forced to with others, and it’s all honest. His emails with Blue are adorable and so cute. They go to the same school, but they don’t know who the other is. Which means that Simon starts trying to guess, and I loved the reveal. It’s incredibly adorable, as is most of the book.
Martin is a bit of jerk, honestly, even if he has some possible redeeming qualities. I liked Simon’s friends, too. His bond with Abby was sweet, and I enjoyed their honest interactions. He has a group of friends, and I liked the focus that part of his life was given, along with his family. He’s close with his family, and I liked the equal attention all of it was given.
This book is smart and thoughtful, but also super adorable and cute and funny. I loved it, and it went by so fast. I will definitely be picking up whatever she releases next.

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