Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Posted 21 February, 2018 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 24 Comments

Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky AlbertalliSimon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray on 7 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 325
Format: Kindle
Source: Kindle Purchase
5 Stars

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.

Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews Friends to Lovers - (un)Conventional Bookviews Humour - (un)Conventional Bookviews LGBT - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of the best YA books ever! I loved all the characters, they were so realistic. And I loved the dilemmas Simon and Blue faced with realizing they were gay.
This is a book I’m getting for the library at the school where I teach, I think every teenager should read it.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Story:

I don’t think there’s much I can say about Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda that hasn’t been said before. Simon is just the perfect character in a young adult story. He’s a little awkward. A little obsessed with himself and his own problems – even if he loves his friends and his family. And he’s more than a little hooked on Blue, a guy from his school. Whom he doesn’t really know, but then again, maybe he does. And he falls in love with Blue through a whole lot of e-mails.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda tackles a lot of topics teens deal with in our day and age. There is bullying. Homophobia. Just the growing up and feeling awkward about it. Having strong friendships that suddenly appear a more fragile. Underage drinking. Social media that isn’t always used for good. And I think the way these themes are dealt with are astonishing! Of course, I fell in love with the theatre teacher. Because she shut down bullies from the get-go. Plus Simon’s parents were delightful in their awkwardness to see their children growing up.

I won’t say more, apart from if you haven’t read this yet, you really, really should! Even if you think YA isn’t for you. One thing that really stood out is how authentic all the characters were, which just made the whole story seem real.

Characters:

Simon is the best male protagonist ever. He’s funny – even when he doesn’t mean to. And he asks himself a lot of questions about life, himself, being gay, and other things.

Nick is one of Simon’s best friends, and I really enjoyed him, even if I didn’t get to know him as well as I got to know other characters.

Abby is new to Simon’s group of friends. And she’s kind of amazing. She listens carefully, and she’s loyal and supportive.

Leah is the friend who’s a bit on the outskirts. She’s in love with Nick. But Nick has a thing for Abby… However, there is none of the awful drama that could have come from this.

Blue. He was also an amazing character. Even if for most of the story, I only got to know him through his e-mail interactions with Simon.

Writing style :

First person point of view, from Simon’s perspective. However, there are a lot of dialogues included, and the e-mails between Blue and Simon. The present tense makes everything that happens immediate, as if the readers are right there with Simon and his friends.

Feels :

*sighs* I can’t even. All the feels, for sure!

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

And I’m seriously not in the mood to deal with my family. I probably ha e about an hour until dinner, which means an hour of trying to spin my school day into a string of hilarious anecdotes. My parents are like that. It’s like you can’t just tell them about your French teacher’s obvious wedgie. You have to perform it.

That was the summer I taught myself how to do laundry. There are some socks that shouldn’t be washed by your mom.

Honestly, the weirdest part is how they made it feel like this big coming out moment. Which can’t be normal. As far as I know, coming out isn’t something that straight kids generally worry about.

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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24 responses to “Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

  1. I can never understand why I haven’t yet read this! Like, seriously, this is always recommended highly and all the reviews make me all the more excited to pick this up but then suddenly something gets in between and this is left sitting on my shelf. Ugh! Though, the movie would be out soon and that gives me a reason to get this off my TBR asap. Great review, Lexxie! 😀

      • That sounds great! You class would be lucky to have this as a reading assignment 😀 How I wish my teacher had tried harder to find relatable books for us!

        • They would be lucky! I agree! I brought some books with me today to donate to my school library (including Simon vs) and one of my students asked me what the books were, and so, she was able to get Simon to read before it arrives in the library 😀

    • I wasn’t all that surprised, as I read The Upside of Unrequited before I read Simon vs. And I loved it. I think I loved Simon vs even more though 🙂
      I bough both Simon and The Upside to donate to my school library, and one of my students saw that I had some books in my bag today… so she got dibs on Simon before it arrived in the library 😉

  2. I am glad you were able to finally get around to reading this one, especially as you wanted to for a long time! I know there is a lot of excitement around this one as it is becoming a movie soon. I am so happy to know you loved it! I have to read it soon.

    • It was an excellent story, Olivia! I just loved everything about it. The characters and the character development. The story-arc, the plot, the way the story unfolded… The writing was awesome. A total win! I hope you’ll be able to read it soon. If I could, I’d send you the extra hours to help you out 😉

  3. Simon vs the homo sapiens was a DNF the first time I tried. But I still hadn’t giving up completely on it. and I’m glad I didn’t. You do make the characters sound good Lex!

  4. I have this book in my shopping cart at B&N right now (they’re having a sale – 3 YA books for $30). I’ve read so many awesome reviews about how phenomenal this book is I just feel like it’s a *must have*. And now that you’ve given your stamp of approval, I really MUST have it! LOL It wonderful that teen issues seem to have been dealt with so realistically. And Simon really sounds like a great character. I love that quote about performing the anecdotes about his day…I can see him performing a wedgie! LOL
    Brilliant review, wifey! {{{BIG HUGS}}}

  5. I have been wanting to read this book for years now; yet, have not gotten the chance yet. Good thing I have just gotten a new job! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this and did not have to fight any wars over this book. It seems like authors are willing take more risks and write about more diversity, like how our world is today. I think reading this will be very inspirational because although I am not gay there is a lot of talk about finding yourself and becoming attuned with who you are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in this great review! Have a great day!

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