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 Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer & Bray on April 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, YA
Source: Balzer + Bray
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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.
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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