Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
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.
I don’t know why but I had been resisting reading this book. I still don’t know why. However, one thing is for sure! This book is worth a read, if you are only going to read it once, pick this one! I think I read about it as I was reading The Song of Achilles and that book managed to make me fall in love with it so much that I was afraid that this one would disappoint me. Yeah, I finally picked it a bit late in the game. There’s a film based on it but it’s yet to hit theaters in India so, at least, I will prepared book-wise this time.
We don’t want a repeat of Call Me By Your Name.
Also, I actually read this book last month but forgot to post a review of it on Goodreads as well as here. My bad. I completely forgot about it in the March Wrap Up, too! How awful is that?!
I wasn’t really expecting to be so thoroughly entertained by this book, I mean, I knew people were singing praises and I generally find it a solid reference but boy! This book is cute and funny and just plain fun!
The main character, Simon, is a weird but adorable teenage boy who finds out that there’s another not-out-of-the-closet gay boy and he starts corresponding with the mysterious Blue, their emails are absolutely adorable and at times, really wonderful. The way Simon and Blue open themselves slowly and almost shyly is such a delight to read.
The other characters in the book are also pretty awesome. I mean, I absolutely loved! Leah, Nick and Abby are such wonderful characters, each with lovely sparks of their own. I loved that there was a sort of realistic drama happening between the friends, that there was one moment of closeness with someone and in the other, friends were trying not to reveal too much. I have experienced that and I loved that it was there. I felt bad for Leah mostly, partly because I might have been Leah in my friend group?
Homophobia is not treated lightly in the book but at the same time, it’s handled in a way that doesn’t bring down the mood to angst but the author did make sure that it was an important part of life.
There are so many good things about this book that I can’t quite list them all here but be assured that this book is absolutely worth a read. Unlike many, many angst and often unhappily ending LGBTQIA books, this one sort of gives us hope. It shows that being gay isn’t easy but it’s not totally impossible and most importantly, it normalizes a gay teen romance in a way I don’t really see all that often.
I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read YA books, and to those who like a little comedy in their reading. (Seriously, this book had some really good LOL moments. Cue: Drarry fanfiction summer!) It’s a story of coming out, a story of first love, of hesitance and of feeling the freedom of being one’s own self. And it’s fun! So, go and read it if you haven’t already. (I know, I took too long to read it, don’t make the same mistake.) At the heart of it, it’s a cute book that you shouldn’t overlook.
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