Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Type: Young Adult, LGBT, Romance
Rating: 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 out of 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸
Simon Spier is a sixteen-year-old junior with a secret from his friends and family, he’s gay. The only person with whom Simon has been able to share this secret with, is a fellow student he exchanges emails with. Before Simon knows it though, Simon’s email fall into the hands of another student who uses them to blackmail Simon into helping set him up with one of Simon’s friends. Simon finds himself faced with the choice of either helping his blackmailer, Martin; or refuse to do so and have his secret laid bare for the entire school. Even worse, Simon fears that if his pen pal, Blue, who is also not out in the open, finds out about Simon’s carelessness that he’ll lose the boy he’s falling for forever.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of those books that’s I’ve seen in bookstores, but I had no idea what it was about. It wasn’t until I came across a tweet from Penguin Platform about the books they were going to be discussing for their #PrideBookClub that I finally got around to reading the description and decided to check it out from the library.
I loved this book, so much so that I read this book in one sitting. This was such an enjoyable book to read in large because of Simon. I found Simon to be a highly realistic character. He does his best, but he messes up sometimes and has to learn from those mistakes and keep moving forward. It was nice to follow Simon’s growth throughout the book and get to see him become more comfortable with who he is and opening up to his friends and family as a result of his conversations with Blue and Blue’s courage in coming out to each of his divorced parents.
The romance between Simon and Blue was so sweet and gave me butterflies as it reminded me of what it’s like to have a crush. I really enjoyed following the progression of their relationship: from two students operating under assumed names looking to discuss their sexuality, to a friendship that evolved into deeper feelings for one another. When Simon and Blue finally meet in person, I couldn’t help but release a huge sigh of contentment as I was so deeply happy for each of them as they had each overcome varying obstacles to find themselves and one another.
Reading this book, I couldn’t help but think back to when I was in high school and two of my friends came out to me. Each of these friends chose to inform me prior to informing the rest of our group of friends. I remember when I asked them why they chose me over other friends of ours they were closer to, they each said because they knew I loved them and accepted them for who they are and wouldn’t judge them. Much like Simon, it took a lot of courage for my friends to come out to me and our other friends. What Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda did for me was to remind me of these occasions from my teen years, when homosexuality wasn’t discussed the way it is now, and how important it is to have those friends you trust and know will love and accept you no matter what.
I’m so glad that I stumbled across Penguin Platform’s #PrideBookClub and finally read this book. It’s the kind of book that I will gladly recommend to fellow readers and that I would assign as part of a summer reading list if I were and English teacher. If you’re interested in learning more about what other books Penguin Platform has chosen for their book club, be sure to check them out @penguinplatform. They will be discussing this book and others through the end of August.