Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
Worth the Hype…
Sometimes there are books that are so hyped up that you just wonder if they’re really all that good. Sometimes you find yourself disappointed, the only person out of your bookish friends who dislikes said book. Other times, you find yourself amidst the endless number of fangirls and fanboys, and you join them in shouting praises of the book off the nearest rooftop. For me, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was the latter.
I’m a huge supporter of equal rights and diversity in books so I flock to LGBT books. I also happen to be bisexual, so that kind of makes me inclined to want to read them as well. And even though I’m not a gay teenage boy, I just totally related to Simon. He boycotts Chick-fil-A (I still do as well, and it dumbfounds me when I see my straight yet gay-supporting friends going there), he hates things like contacts going into his eyes (I have an extreme eye phobia and let’s just change the subject), and he loves Harry Potter. If I was a gay teenage boy, I think Simon would be one of my book boyfriends. Maybe he still is, I don’t know. Or maybe he’s just me as a gay teenage boy. Either way, I love seeing myself in Simon, and relating to him. Teenage me would have LOVED to read this book (and adult me LOVED it, too).
While reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I found myself wanting to just read the book and forego any other responsibilities, including sleeping. But alas, I’m a stay-at-home parent and I couldn’t do that or I’d be sleeping on the job the next day. But that’s how wrapped up in this story I was. Yet I also knew that I didn’t want this book to end. I wanted to be reading about Simon forever. And then I saw this line: “I like no endings,” I say. “I like things that don’t end.” And that just solidified it for me. Simon’s not my book boyfriend, he’s my book BFF. And if I ever actually publish a book (it’s a goal, but I’m nowhere near meeting that goal), I want Becky Albertalli to be one of my author friends. Until then, I’ll just pre-order every book she writes and gobble them up.
Becky Albertalli gets a whole bunch of my Bonus Points for the following reasons:
- Boycotting Chick-fil-A: 500,000 points.
- Having a kind of sort of eye phobia: 1,000,000 points.
- Multiple Harry Potter references: 50,000 points.
- Star Wars reference: 50,000 points.
- Soccer calves (if you know it, you know it): 10,000 points.
- Character has a Golden Birthday!: 50,000 points.
- Doctor Who reference: 50,000 points.
My rating for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, if you couldn’t already tell:
Five HUGE stars. I’m looking forward to reading everything else Becky Albertalli publishes.
Disclaimer: I purchased this book myself. I was not compensated in any way for this review.