Review: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to another GLBT Book Month review. Today’s book is one I have heard wonderful things about, and I have had it on my TBR list for quite some time. No longer. Now it joins the massive list of books I have read in my lifetime (or technically just since I joined Goodreads back in 2010).

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Summary

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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

Maybe it was all the hype I’ve heard about this book, but I was mildly disappointed with it. Yes, it was cute, but I didn’t connect with it as much as I have with some other reads of 2017. I feel like I’ve read a few books this year that feature two characters exchanging messages, where the characters are unaware of who each other is. And just like with those other books, it doesn’t take all that long before one of the two in this anonymous exchange discovers who the other is.

I can also say that figuring out the identity of Blue was not all that difficult, as he made it a bit obvious in his real life interactions. Even with the attempt to make readers think that Blue was a not so nice character instead, it was obvious that the assumption was wrong.

Simon felt like a real person to me, though I can also say that sometimes I didn’t like him much. The way he treats, technically ignores, Leah is very aggravating. Speaking of annoyances from characters–am I the only one who felt like Martin’s blackmail felt sort of awkward and forced?

I did like Simon and Blue’s e-mail exchanges though. It was easy to see their relationship develop. Speaking of that, this didn’t affect my rating, but having all the characters refer to Tumblr as “the Tumblr” was annoying.

Okay, I will say that I can understand why this book is raved about and why it has won so many awards. I just wanted more from it. But the story was a decent one and for the most part I enjoyed the character interactions, which is why I gave the book a 4 star rating instead of a 3 star one.

Where to Buy

You can pick up Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

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