Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: April 2015
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Man, high school sucked… you couldn’t pay me to go back and relive it. But yet I somehow still enjoy YA novels. Not sure what the heck that’s about! I picked up this book at a book fair solely because I’d seen previews for the move version, Love, Simon, and I thought it looked cute and like something I’d probably go see. But I swear I was so close to giving up on Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda a mere twenty-odd pages in. I wasn’t sold on its quirkiness or characters. I didn’t feel like I was getting into it at all. And then I realized I was still reading 100 pages later, unable to put it down, and I was completely invested in Simon and Blue’s story/relationship. Loving this book as much as I did really snuck up on me.
Despite my wonky start with this book, Simon came at the right time for me. It was happy, despite some serious internal conflict on Simon’s part, and it really had me rooting for each of the characters. I so needed a happy ending and I needed to think about something outside of my own little world. I’m glad I kept reading.
I’m really looking forward to revisiting all of the characters from Simon in Albertalli’s forthcoming Leah on the Offbeat, which focuses on Leah Burke–badass girl drummer and my favorite character from Simon. I would have liked to have gotten to know Leah a bit more, so I’m really excited for this one.
And yes, I’ll probably go see the movie!