Monday, April 06, 2015

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens by Becky Albertalli

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I received this book for free from Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens  by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer & Bray on April 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, YA
Source: Balzer + Bray
Buy on Amazon

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.

This book was so sweet and realistic. I couldn’t help but love it. It really captured the reality of someone who might be going through the same type of situation. I loved the characters, the story, all of it really. It didn’t totally blow me away or anything, but it was an amazing story that I will highly recommend to others. Once again, I am happy that more and more YA books are covering topics such as this in such a fantastic way.

I adored Simon. He isn’t embarrassed about being gay, he just doesn’t know how to tell anyone. His family is great and caring, but his dad is known to crack some gay jokes. He knows that they will except it, as well as his friends, but it’s not so easy to tell them. It seems the longer he waits the harder it gets. Now, Martin is blackmailing him because he wants to go out with one of Simon’s friends. Simon knows that he shouldn’t give in, but he doesn’t know what else to do either. He wants people to find out when he’s ready, not because of some douche who just wants a date with his friend. He isn’t really as much afraid that people will find out about him as he is that Blue might be discovered. Besides that, he likes what they have with their emails. Yes, he does want to find out who Blue really is, but he is also really nervous about knowing and wondering if it will change things. He likes being able to mostly be himself with Blue, without giving too much away so Blue won’t discover who he really is. I think that their emails are sweet, and I think it’s the cutest when they finally meet in real life. Simon is a smart kid with great friends and family. He is sure of himself and isn’t too worried about whether his friends will accept that he is gay, but is more concerned about Blue and if he will be everything he expects.

Blue was a great character. We don’t get to actually meet him and find out who he is until late in the book, but I loved getting to know him through the emails. He is such a great support for Simon, and Simon for him. He is also funny, smart, and very charming. I couldn’t wait to find out his identity. Once we do find out who he is, I loved it even more. Everything about it was really sweet and awkward.

Of course this wasn’t without some drama, but it wasn’t overdone. At times I really hated Martin and some of the jerks in his school, but it really painted a good picture of reality. Yes, most people don’t care one way or another whether someone is gay, but there are still the jerks who will bully and be mean. We do see a bit of that in the book, and it made me so sad and angry. Just like it would in real life. It also shows how much others (even ones you wouldn’t think) care and how bulling won’t be tolerated. Along with that it covers the ignorant side of things too. How people don’t realize how their actions could hurt someone. Even if unintentional. This book captured a tough time in Simon’s life and all that goes with it. The support, the difficulties, the love, and the awkwardness of things. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was well done. I would recommend that everyone read this one!!


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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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27 Responses to “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens by Becky Albertalli”

  1. Grace

    I keep seeing this book pop up places but this is the first review I have read. It sounds really good! Great review – Thanks!

    • Amy

      I am always up for reading books that are in this genre. I fully support the LGBTQIA community so I tend to want to review books like this. I really loved how this one was so realistic. It was very enjoyable to read.

  2. Lily Lucas

    This book sounds really good and I’m glad that you said it was sweet, funny and realistic because there are just too many sad books in YA nowadays.
    I really want to read this book because it just sounds really interesting! Awesome review! 🙂

    • Amy

      Even though it does touch on some of the tougher things, it was a very light hearted book. It was a bit sad in how Simon is treated at times (which is what made it so realistic), but in general it was a happy and sweet book.

  3. Vi

    This one has def been getting a lot of praise and good reviews, so I’m happy to know that you enjoyed it, even if you weren’t blown away by it. I’m so picky when it comes to YA contemp, but I am curious about this one.

    • Amy

      Before writing my review I didn’t look at any of the reviews for it, but I am so glad to see so many positive reviews for it. I think this is a fabulous book and I hope that a lot of people discover and enjoy it.

  4. Keionda Lei Lewis

    This book sounds very intriguing! I always have lots of love for books that come out and talk about real life issues. The person reading it very well might be one that is experiencing it.
    Thanks for sharing this Amy. 🙂

    • Amy

      Yes! I am very into books that are realistic fiction. Especially when they cover topics that are tough that a lot of people go through. Like you said, the person reading it might be going through the same type of thing and it might make things just a bit easier to not feel like they are alone in it.

    • Amy

      I am going to order myself a copy because I think it’s a book that I need to have on my shelf. It’s one of those books that I want to have around for when my daughter is old enough to read books like this.

  5. Rashika

    I am glad to see you enjoyed this book, Amy! 🙂

    I loved this one and I liked that even though it’s not one that blows your mind, it deals with so many important issues, like bullying and it’s so positive!

    I also loved the relationship between Simon and Blue. They are such a cute couple and I loved watching their relationship develop. They have a couple bumps in the way but all in all, I think they come out a lot stronger and there is just so much cuteness!


    • Amy

      Simon and Blue were so cute!! I really loved their emails. That really made the book for me. I loved how Simon was always wondering who Blue might really be, but also very supportive of Blue not wanting to share yet.

    • Amy

      When I requested it, I didn’t think much of it. When I noticed reviews starting to appear for it, I didn’t pay any attention. Then when I started reading it, I was sucked right in. I am so glad this was one I decided to review!!

  6. Kelsey

    I added this to my library list and hopefully can get it soon! People keep saying how good it was, so it was great to see that in your review too!

  7. Ramona

    I will definitely read this one before the month is over. Every single review of it is chock-full of praise. I’ve heard such delightful things – original, uncompromising, genuine YA… I feel like I’m going to burst with anticipation 🙂

    • Amy

      This was one of those books that makes you smile. It’s very real and has the true ups and downs of life situations, but at it’s core is just very cute and sweet.

  8. Benish

    This book is so popular right now, I keep seeing reviews for it everywhere and they’re all POSITIVE *bites nails* Let’s see.. I want to check this out hopefully tomorrow, beautiful review Giselle! 🙂