Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
|Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli|
|Reviewer: Amber Wells|
|Summary: A compulsively readable, very happy, and super fun book that explores deeper topics without losing the light-hearted and cosy atmosphere established throughout the rest of the book. Every LGBT+ reader and ally should get this book into their hands immediately!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: April 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
Sixteen-year-old Simon Spier has a great life. He has a close group of friends, a loving family, and even an adorable dog. But he has a secret: he's gay. Only one person knows this, and that's Blue – a boy who he has been emailing almost daily since he found out that there was another closeted guy at his school. Their emails are a safe space for Simon; it's his own private universe without the fear of being judged. Until one day, these emails fall into the wrong hands, and everything Simon knows is turned upside down.
Simon quickly finds himself being blackmailed into helping Martin (the boy who's threatening him) to get a date with his best friend Abby. Complications arise with Simon's new meddling, and it's heart-breaking to watch as Simon desperately tries to protect the one thing he wants to keep to himself – his identity.
Becky Albertalli really hit the nail on the head with creating authentic teenage characters. Simon feels real in every way; his snarky internal monologue had me laughing out loud often (and I'm the type that rarely even cracks a smile while reading) but he also makes plenty of mistakes and tries his best to make up for them. All of his friends were both beautifully fantastic and flawed, and even Martin had moments where I started to feel sorry for him.
Every YA book explores the themes of friendship, honesty, and discovering who you are, but to me, this book is the most authentic when exploring those themes. Everything was so fleshed out and nothing felt two dimensional, the setting and its characters are so believable that it feels like the world inside the book continues to go on even after the final pages because there is no way that it cannot be real.
It's a wonderful coming of age book that had me smiling throughout, and I would highly recommend it to any young LGBT+ reader or ally that wants to add a heart-warming contemporary book to their reading list.
For further reading, I would suggest checking out Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed, or Loveless by Alice Oseman.
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