Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a wonderful, real, and epically beautiful book. It deserves to be read.
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
320 pages, hardcover
Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.
When one of Simon’s emails to Blue – an anonymous and not openly gay (like Simon) boy from his school – gets into the wrong hands, he’s blackmailed into helping this bully get the girl or his sexual identity will be out in the open for everyone. Even worse to Simon, Blue’s identity could be exposed to the school. Basically, Simon’s junior year is turning into a complicated disaster. Simon hates change but he has to find a way to adapt before he’s pushed out of his comfort zone.
I loved Simon. So much. He’s my kind of person – nerdy, funny, smart, sweet, and he’s got this brilliant dry sense of humor that had my “giggles keep escaping around the edges (ARC 237).” What a great quote, right? He doesn’t understand why white and straight are the defaults in our society. Why shouldn’t everyone have to come out – straight, gay, asexual, whatever. He just wants to be happy. I was rooting for him so hard the entire time. I wanted Simon and Blue to live happily ever after. I know nothing is that easy, but I wanted it for him. That’s how real he felt. A favorite quote from Simon:
I fall a little bit in love with everyone. (ARC 32)
Blue and Simon have been getting to know each other through emails for most of the school year. They don’t know who the other is, just that they are gay and not out. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about how much I love books with letters or emails or other forms of communication before, so you can imagine how much I adored Blue and Simon’s emails. They get steadily more flirtatious as the book goes on and it was so cute to see how much they liked each other. Then when we finally get the big reveal and they meet each other? SWOON. I had been hoping most of the book that Blue was who I thought he was. I was SO HAPPY about it.
Other things I loved: realistic friendships that were supportive even through issues and change, Simon (yeah, I already mentioned him but I had to again), Simon’s parents, Simon’s outlook on life, Blue.
One thing I didn’t like: I wish we’d had more time with Blue and Simon after they meet in real life. I want to swoon over them some more.
The bottom line: Everyone needs to meet Simon. He’s so human that I feel like everyone would be more human after having met him. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but, basically, this book deserves to be read. It’s such a wonderful love story and it’ll make you feel all melty on the inside. I honestly can’t believe this is a debut.
Rating: 9 – practically perfect
Want to learn more about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Come back tomorrow when I’ll be kicking off the excerpt tour!