Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli book cover and review
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a super cute contemporary romance that I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

Simon is gay, but he hasn't come out to anyone.  He's having an ongoing email conversation with a guy who is called Blue, but Simon doesn't know his true identity.  So much of the story is Simon trying to figure out who this guy is that he has a huge crush on.  And they go to the same high school. Many conversations are about coming out -- and when, and to who -- as well as Simon pushing Blue to reveal his identity.

Simon has a great circle of friends and he's also involved in the theater at school. He accidentally leaves a school computer logged in, and one of the kids at school, Marty, sees his emails.  Marty has a crush on one of Simon's friends, Abby, so Marty basically blackmails Simon.  He wants Simon to arrange for Marty to get together with Abby. If he does, then Marty will keep Simon's secret.

Everything blows up -- in many ways -- for Simon. But eventually, this is a happy story that leaves you with a warm feeling in your heart. As far as the LGBT aspect, this story was a natural, cute romance.  I don't like it when these stories feel contrived to include gender nonconforming teens. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda did not feel like that.  Simon and the other characters are teens just like any others, with stressors just like many of them.

The only thing I found a bit over the top was the fact that Simon could be so in love with a guy just by reading his emails.  Especially when there is so much they can't say to each other, lest they reveal their identities. Maybe I'm just too old to remember what it's like to be a teen.  Perhaps it isn't unrealistic for them.

I'm picky about my YA romances, and I enjoyed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda a lot. I'm sure many more of my teens will pick it up after Love, Simon the movie, releases on March 16.

Published by Balzer + Bray, 2015
Copy obtained from the library
303 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. Great review! I don’t usually read cute romance books, but I really liked this one. I can’t wait for the movie.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I really, really enjoyed this book when I read it. I remember the early days of email and how fun it was to flirt from afar....

  3. I thought one of the best things about this book was the voice. The teens sounded like teens not adults pretending to be teens.


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