[Book Review #55] Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Becky Albertalli

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: No. Standalone.

Release Date: April 7, 2015

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

No. of Pages: 303 pages

Price: 684.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, LGBTQIA

Book Review:

The Cover: Featuring an image of a guy with hands in his pockets which, in my perspective, signifies secrecy, plus an extreme shade of red for the background, it actually feels like a YA novel meant to be read during Christmas. Also, the title was placed a bubble head, which obviously means that the story will, somehow, be told using the Social Media platform. I like it!   (4 out of 5 stars)

The Story: Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, based on the synopsis, was all about diversity and openness in the world of Young Adult Literature. When it was released, I knew that it was going to be one of my favorite reads of the year. Why? Uhm, it’s correlated to the LGBT community? Who’s to say I won’t be interested? And, I have to say, it certainly got me hooked.

I loved Becky’s writing style! All story long, it was like Simon just kept on reaching out to his audience, telling them everything that was on his mind. His ideas, his feelings, everything. It made me, as a reader, feel like Simon was one hell of a great character who a lot of people could relate to. From modern teenagers to young adults, almost anyone could perfectly relate to our MC. He’s a perfect example of a character both with great character development, and foundation.

Reading this book made me realize one thing among many others: no matter how modern the world may be, there are still a select number of people who cannot and will not accept the members of the LGBT Community. There are those who will always step on those who are neither males nor females, thinking that just because they belong to a primary gender, they are superior. Let me tell you people one thing: We are equal in the eyes of our Lord. I don’t mean to sound like too much of a devout Catholic, but that’s just how it is. But, as much as I want to pour my heart out onto this issue, I have a book review to get back to… Haha!

The way Becky told Simon and Blue’s romantic story was brilliant. The whole “falling in love through emails” concept isn’t new to me at all. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern was patterned with that same concept. The same goes for This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. But, what made it stand out was that other than the fact that, again, they were both from the LGBT Community, both Simon and Blue were characters who a lot of readers could effortlessly relate to. Simon was quite an anxious yet outgoing person, while Blue was interestingly private. These are contradicting traits that most people nowadays posses. No wonder these characters turned out to be as lovable as they are.

I liked the concept, the writing style, and the feel of this book. I can’t believe it took me until now to discover the treasure that is Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. (4.5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: I love how this book certainly leaves it’s readers in awe and wonderous imagination after the story is finished. It was delightfully justifying. There were no unanswered questions, no scenes or characters left hanging, and every aspect was given justice.

I don’t know how to put this better, but what I liked about how this novel ended was that, as you read the last few sentences, you knew that the story was about to end. You are satisfied with it, yes, but, there’s this feeling that you kinda want more. It doesn’t leave you hanging, no, but you crave the romance between our protagonists. Becky absolutely did a great job in introducing these characters to us, and now, we know how attached we are with them. I loved it! (4 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: With my reading of this diverse novel by Becky Albertalli, comes my resolution of reading lots more of diverse books next year, 2016. I loved every single page of this book, and I seriously can’t wait for whatever Becky has in store for her readers. (4.17 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

“The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat — soft and persistent, underlying everything.”

“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

“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.”

“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.”

“I’m too busy trying not to be in love with someone who isn’t real.”

About The Author:

Becky Albertalli was born and raised in the Atlanta, GA suburbs. She has been writing stories since preschool. Generally about her pets. She is three years older than her sister and twelve years older than her brother. She is an extraordinarily picky eater. She really loves ice cream, though. And most desserts. She is Jewish, despite her Italian last name. And lastly, she currently lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband and two sons. She spends her days writing about teenagers and reading board books about trucks.

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