Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5
To say that I loved Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli would be a huge understatement. I had known, going into this book, that there have already been tons of rave reviews for it. After the first chapter, it wasn’t difficult to fall head over heels for Albertalli’s writing style and more specifically, the voice she created for Simon Spier. Simon is a coming-of-age story about a boy trying to discover how to be himself, and a heartwarming one at that.
The story opens up with a series of email conversations between Blue and Jacques. Simon, disguised as Jacques, is writing to another boy at school, disguised as Blue. Neither of them know who they are in real life. They confess to each other that they are both gay, and seem to hit it off. The story kicks off from there, and the dialogue between them is what truly had me hooked. The way Simon narrates the story, his thoughts and discourse, are so relatable and real. I could feel Simon right next to me, telling his rollercoaster ride of junior year in high school. More importantly, I felt that Simon was an extremely close friend. He exposes himself not only to Blue, but also to the reader, and the connection between me and him was so tangible that I just NEED SIMON TO BE REAL, OKAY? I freaking love Simon. (plus, the way Simon talks is SO ME.)
Of course, the most prominent plot point in this story is about Simon coming out as gay. These types of stories are so important, and how Albertalli wrote Simon’s story is beyond me. Being a junior in high school and coming out as homosexual is scary, awkward, and undoubtedly uncomfortable. Albertalli doesn’t shy away from any of this–no sugarcoating whatsoever. My heart went out for Simon when he came out, and knowing that Simon had friends and family that stuck with him through thick and thin was what made this story truly remarkable. Simon has a supportive group of friends, even if they do experience some rough patches. But that’s what high school is all about. Making mistakes, learning, and growing from them. Simon’s family is hilarious and Albertalli does such a fantastic job making his parents as embarrassing as possible, and forming Simon’s reaction to them. Albertalli seriously captures the life of a high school teen so remarkably.
There most definitely is a “mystery” aspect in this story, if you will. The reader reads the emails alongside Simon, trying to figure out who this Blue is. I have to admit, I had my guesses pretty early on in the book (like 40% through, and I was right), but I enjoyed the plot nonetheless. Although a wee bit predictable, this never hindered my love for this book one bit. Seeing Simon struggle through and scrutinize every email was entertaining and exciting, and the big reveal kind of gave me all the feels.
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is absolutely adorable, realistic, and oh-so-memorable. Simon’s voice rings clear in my head, and I’m sure I won’t be forgetting him anytime soon since I felt his presence so near the entire time I was reading. Becky Albertalli does a fantastic job with the homosexuality aspect of the story, creating a true portrayal of the daily life struggles for any teen–straight, gay, bi, etc. I can’t praise this book enough, it seems. All I can say is: buy it, read it, love it. Repeat.