Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA, LGBTQIA, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 7, 2015

Summary (via Goodreads)
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. 
I had been so pumped to read this book. I mean, just read that description! Looks amazing, right? But when I started to read it, I was a bit disappointed at first. I just felt a bit lost as to what was going on. There wasn't really an introduction or description of some characters, so when I got a fact about them a was a bit confused. Was I supposed to know who this person was? Did I miss something? There is a fine line between too much description and not enough, and Simon is just on the side of not enough. I felt like I knew nothing about the characters so their actions seemed completely random to me.

However, after about fifty pages of a rocky start, I got into the book. Like really got into it! I don't know what happened because I just did a total 180 and loved it. While I would have liked some more information about some of the characters still, the writing is pretty simple and easy to read, and the story was a good mix of heartwarming, truthful, and hilarious.  Simon is so sarcastic and snarky, and I just loved reading all the thoughts going through his head. Plus his love of Oreos is legendary. Reading his Oreo diet meal plan was amazing and left me super hungry (and at the same time a bit sick at the thought of all those Oreos). Simon really comes into his own during the course of the book, going through this whole blackmail scenario and other events to grow and explore the relationships with his friends, family, and Blue. While this could be labeled as a "coming out" story, it's way more than that. He is sure about who he is and his sexuality, but the thought of coming out just seems like such a huge and unnecessary deal to him. I love how this book really questions the idea of "coming out."

The whole blackmail thing with Martin was very frustrating to me probably just as much as it was to Simon. Because at times, Martin does seem like a good guy, but I also bitterly just wanted him to go away. I'm still a bit frustrated at everything that happened with him, and I won't give anything away but I thought that the ending to that situation was very realistic. But I still want to punch him...

Oh Simon and Blue. I love that we spend the book not knowing who Blue is right along with Simon. It's this big mystery that makes you wonder "Is that guy Blue?" and "Is that something that Blue would do?" Their emails back and forth were so sweet and funny, and I love how they got to know each other so well before they even considered meeting each other. I'm not surprised that Simon fell in love with Blue through his emails because I did too. Also I just want to say that I am psyched that I guessed who Blue was! 10 points to me!

Rating: 4 out of 5. I really love Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Slow start but the rest of the book made up for it. I would probably suggest that you not read this book in public because it causes a lot of uncontrollable smiling and very odd happy noising. Such a good book.

Leave a Comment

  1. Great review. This one has been on my TBR list since before it came out, so hopefully I’ll be able to read it soon. It sounds interesting.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!