Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

10015384._SY540_Edition: Paperback – Borrowed, 303 pages
Published by: Penguin, April 7th 2015
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary, GLBT, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5 feathers

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

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.


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This book has the cute factor! It is the anatomy of adorable.

“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

I really enjoyed reading about Simon; he just sounded like a really fun and comedic character! I don’t often get to read about really fun characters (probably because I pick the wrong books!) I love that Simon is also a Harry Potter fan. The author has done a great job of adopting a teenager’s voice because it really did sound like I’m reading the perspective of a teenaged boy. Do you ever notice how teenaged girls in YA novels sound like mature 30 year olds? Albertalli had written it in a simple and easy style of writing, which was the best way to write it because it sounded realistic. Simon is foul-mouthed, which didn’t bother me much.

The only thing I have to point out is why is it called ‘The Tumblr’? Anyone who uses Tumblr, or anyone who doesn’t uses it knows that it’s just called TUMBLR. Saying The Tumblr makes it sound like some foreign website. I liked that he said, “I can’t even” because it is a very Tumblr-esque quote.

I did find myself smiling at the humorous quotes. Seriously, sometimes I think I am reading Perks, even though I’m not, because there were so many great quotes. The drunk scene was probably my favourite and the funniest!

“I take a sip of my beer, and it’s – I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting. I don’t think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I’d rather make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin.”

“What’s a dementor?”
I mean, I can’t even. “Nora, you are no longer my sister.”
“So it’s some Harry Potter thing,” she says.”

“I don’t even know. I’m just so sick of straight people who can’t get their shit together.”

The whole mystery of the book is who is Blue? He goes to the same school as Simon and that’s all we know. Albertalli got me guessing. I knew it couldn’t possibly be Martin because he’s blackmailing Simon to get closer to Abby, but wouldn’t that have been a plot twist? It wasn’t him anyway, so it had to be someone Simon has spoken to. When it was revealed, I think I had it coming on who it was.

The emails were a really nice touch to the story and I enjoyed reading them. They met on ‘The Tumblr’ and it shows their friendship growing into something more. It actually kind of reminded me of my email conversation to my friend I’ve never met and whom I’ve spoken to for about 6 years, which I know is a long time.

I kind of think this book should have been called Everybody Loves Simon! Simon was the highlight of this book and all his friends love him. I liked that he wasn’t a social outcast, but he had a nice and quirky group of friends who cared about him and it’s where he belonged. I really liked his supporting family too and also Bieber, the dog. The whole Martin blackmail was to create drama. I could anticipate what would happen in the end.

Throughout the book, I could certainly empathise his struggle to come out and how awkward it can be.

“It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.”

This is the first book I’ve gotten out in the library in a very long time since writing my dissertation. Overall, it’s a 3.5ish star from me. It is a predictable story, as it was everything I expected. However, I really enjoy it nonetheless, the highlights for me were the quotes (obvs) and Simon’s sassiness. I have never read a more sassy character like Simon! I definitely recommend if you are after a cute and light read. This is surprisingly Albertalli’s first novel and it is a great debut. I really liked the cover. What can I say… its very quirky and very John Green-y.

3.5

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8 thoughts on “Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

  1. I loved this book! It’s super cute and one of my favorite releases all year.
    “Do you ever notice how teenaged girls in YA novels sound like mature 30 year olds?”
    YES. I’m so happy you said this because I’ve been waiting for someone to say this in YA for forever. It’s the reason I don’t like super flowery prose because it’s not realistic. And I hate it when people use the argument that the character is incredibly intelligent and speaks that way because the average teen doesn’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Glad you think so too 🙂 I think people do realise it too but they don’t say it, or maybe they just go along with it. Agreed – that’s how I feel about John Green characters! They’re all incredibly intelligent, witty and sarcastic. I’m like ‘do teenagers really talk like this?’ It could only happen in books!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you were able to meet Simon and enjoy this! I totally agree, though everything about this was very simplistic and predictable, Simon just made it work. You’re right, he seems to be a great, realistic representation of teenage guys. The HP fanboy and oreo maniac was just a huge plus. AND YES! So I wasn’t the only one bothered by the tumblr thing!!

    SPOILERS

    And haha, this was too ridiculous of a twist but I was really expecting Blue to be Martin. After all, the president hint… Martin Van Buren was a president. But after the real Blue made some appearances I caught on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Even though I only rated it a 3.5 stars (perhaps it should have been a 4) I did really enjoyed this book! He’s my favourite fictional book best friend 😀 Yes exactly! It’s the way Albertalli had written it so well too 🙂 ‘let’s check it out on THE TUMBLR’ imagine saying that? lol.
      Really? I thought, it can’t be Martin, could it?! It would have been such a plot twist but it doesn’t explain the whole Abby thing. I thought Bram liked Leah at first lols.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If it was Martin the Abby thing would have never been explained, but I don’t know, I guess I was hoping for the crazy plot twist! And lol, I know right (about using the tumblr in sentences)? That would be ridiculously weird, hah.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a cute book! It had me smiling so much, so I think I may be re-reading it when I need something to lift my mood. I guessed who Blue was as soon as he was introduced (the person behind Blue), so I did find it quite predictable, but it was fun nonetheless.

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who picked up on *the* tumblr – I found it a little irritating, but I guess the author hasn’t really been on the site. And she isn’t a teenager today, so it’s not really expected she knows everything, haha! Great review 🙂

    ~Denise @ The Bibliolater

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denise! Agree its definitely a book that makes you smile 🙂 I couldn’t work out who Blue was at first, I kept thinking it can’t be Martin. I thought Bram liked Leah, ironically! I was asking myself why does Simon keep calling it ‘The Tumblr’?! Haha yes that’s probably true – the author should have done her research on tumblr XD I mean you wouldn’t call Facebook, The Facebook lol.

      Like

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