Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: 7 April 2015
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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 loved book!!!! It was beautiful and phenomenal and eloquent. Just all around greatness. Romance and I have not always been the best of friends mostly because it’s insta- love with no real relationship development. That, my friend, is not the case here because Simon doesn’t even know his crush. The mystery in this novel was truly well written.
Simon and Blue’s relationship is already quite developed by the time reader’s see their relationship. It’s clear that these two boys have been talking for some time and that there is legitimate interest from both parties. Unlike other novels, the lust and interest they share is very relatable- they discuss real issues, such as parental problems and homework struggles, that are often times glossed over in romance novels. But what makes this novel and the relationship between Simon and Blue even better is the clear progression from slight liking to serious lust to deep passion. It was intriguing to see the conversations between the two boys becoming more passionate but also more personal as the plot progressed.
Simon’s relationships with his friends were also very realistic and relatable; I often times saw myself in Simon’s interactions with his friends. The way he expressed his reasoning and his feelings for not telling his friends why he wasn’t out were more than understandable. Albertalli didn’t place Simon in a perfect world where being out was an acceptable thing and instead made high school a realistic and socially awkward world where actions had consequences (regardless of how trivial they may seem in hindsight). Albertalli did however give Simon somewhat ideal parents which I saw as a representation of life outside of high school. The world doesn’t care as much and is a lot more freeing than life in high school. But even with that, Simon’s father especially had his faults which still reminded readers that the world does have judgmental people.
Without going too much in depth, Martin’s blackmailing felt like something that would happen at a school with homophobic or ignorant people. Martin’s reason for blackmailing seemed ridiculous at first but, after thinking about the dynamics of a normal high school, his ideas made a little bit more sense. Although I felt that Martin could have dealt with his situation a lot differently, it is important to note that there is more time to properly think through actions when reading that would not be offered in the realities of the world. So despite my dislike for Martin’s blackmailing I couldn’t knock even half a star from Albertalli.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was a well crafted novel that combined elements of reality with a light sprinkling of mystery to create an engaging story. The characters were easy to sympathize with and the romance was a nice slow build to something that was quite gorgeous. The entirety of the novel, from the writing style to the descriptive details, was clearly well thought out which resulted in a piece of mastery. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a nice, short read with great romance.