Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 7th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
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
Right now my thoughts about Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda are along the lines of thisbookthisbookthisbook, it was when I finished it, and it still is now, because THISBOOKTHISBOOKTHISBOOK. I know what you're thinking, how do I explain things so well? *cough* It's a gift.*cough* ;) It's just so freaking adorable and funny and cute, and so much more than just freaking adorable and funny and cute, and again, I know, I explain things so well. So I'll put it this way, Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda shows how far society has evolved regarding anything LGBTQ, and how everything diverse has changed in YA, but also how it hasn't changed for anyone LGBTQ.
It's the 21st Century, being gay isn't such a big thing to us anymore, but it's still a big thing to that person, coming out is still terrifying, even if you know your family would generally be okay with it, but it's the thing of coming to terms with it yourself, the way Simon wasn't ready to come out, not because he wasn't afraid of coming out because of his family disowning it, he was still terrified because he wanted to keep it to himself until he figured it out himself, until he figured out who he was whilst being completely honest with himself. Him "officially" coming out the way he did, I think he handled it well, as well as you can handle it.
Simon has a really relatable and realistic voice, and I know that sounds weird, but as Blue says, he talks the way he comes across in emails. As bloggers, especially when you're new to it, or when you read a new blog, do you think your/their voice comes through? I've read a few where it does straight away, but with most (and certainly with my own, too, I didn't think my voice came across as such, and I still do at times) it's only when I started talking more to the people behind the blog that I started "hearing" their voice, if that makes sense. What I'm trying to say is, Simons voice came through from page one.
It isn't all sprinkles and rainbows though, as I said, it's so much more, which means it is realistic, it shows you the good, but it also shows you the bad, so of course there's backlash and some homophobic actions and "jokes", which, let's face it, it may be the 21st Century but some people are still moronic.
The mystery surrounding who was Blue was fun, with them emailing one another it gave us a way of getting to know Simon and so much more, and okay, we're in Simon's head already since it's his perspective but you say stuff in emails that you wouldn't say to someone's face. It also gives us a way of getting to know "Blue" before knowing it's revealed who he is (which, I did figure out who it was after a certain important hint) and when they meet face to face, all of it out there, it doesn't feel insta-lovey, which is much appreciated. AND OMG THE EMAILS WERE EVERYTHING, OKAY?