Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Genre(s): YA // Contemporary // LGBT
Publication date: April 7th, 2015
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.
In school, I take Spanish as a language. However, when I had to choose in 7th grade between Spanish and French, I really wanted to do French, because all of my friends were doing it. Ever since, my parents have had this mini deal with me that I get a small gift for the 3 Kings Holiday (basically the Spanish Christmas). This year, I planned to get Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, but one day on Goodreads, I came across a status update for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and it was a quote containing Harry Potter reference. So obviously, I ended up getting it instead.
I’m not a huge fan of contemporary or LGBT books for that matter. No, I’m not prejudiced against LGBT people, but I feel that society makes such a big deal about it, and that’s what makes people insecure about themselves. I mean seriously, by making a whole genre about LGBT books, implies that the standard is straight white people. And as Simon discerningly said, there shouldn’t be a standard.
But Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was such a fun, hilarious, and cute book, that somehow was super relatable, even though I’m not gay.
Here are the things that I loved:
Simon. He was literally so adorable and cute and witty, I just loved him. He also loves Harry Potter.
“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.”
The friendship. In the story, excluding Simon’s anonymous lover Blue, his friends are Abby, Leah, and Nick. I really loved how real their relationship with each other was, how they fought and apologized just like real friends. I specifically liked Leah, who reminded me a lot of Hermione. I could relate to a lot of the things she went through throughout the book.
Simon’s family. They played games using their Facebook feeds. Just…my parents would never do that with me…XD Also, I think it was great how they supported his sexuality and made it no big deal – because it isn’t a big deal in my opinion.
The covering of subjects such as bullying and sexuality. As I mentioned earlier, I think the problem is that people make such a big deal about what a person’s sexuality is, and truth be told, it’s just something that makes up you. I think Becky Albertalli really enforced the right message, and did a great job of doing so.
Have you read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? If so, did you guess who Blue was before Simon did? I find it funny, because I guessed who Blue was pretty early on.