Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

Title: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5 Stars

This post may contain some minor spoilers.  If, for some unknown reason, you have yet to read Simon, and you loathe spoilers in any form, save this review for later.
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.

 I read another one of Becky Albertalli's books last year (The Upside of Unrequited) and while I enjoyed it, I LOVED Simon.  I found Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda to be an absolutely wonderful, charming coming of age book that deals with a tough topic (coming out) in such a good way (even in spite of Martin forcing Simon to come out, so to speak).

So, here's the lowdown: Simon is gay, but hasn't come out of the closet yet.  And he lives in Georgia.  Freakin GEORGIA.  He and his friends, Leah, Nick, and Abby are all pretty tight (though Leah does have some pretty heavy jealousy issues towards Abby.)  Through a series of events, Simon is sort of forced into coming out.  

So, let's break down what I loved about this story:
The Characters: I Love Simon.  I love how kind he is and how well rounded he is - and I love that he's a theatre nerd.  From one theatre nerd to another - I get you and your friends, Simon!  I love that the characters all have their own distinct personalities. The author does a great job of making sure each character has their own characteristics and traits that help them stand out from the other characters.  

The actual story/plot: This story is so well thought out and well developed from beginning to end.  There were plenty of moments of tension throughout the book that made me want to keep reading just to find out how it would all end.  I also loved the development of the relationship between Blue and Simon.  I loved that there was the guessing game between the two of them where they tried to figure out who the other was.  I love that their were moments of light heartedness thrown throughout the book as well.  The book deals with a tough topic, but life isn't serious all the time, and this book shows that.  

Simon's Parents: Yes, Simon's parents deserve their own heading.  Now, yes, Simon's dad made a few very inappropriate jokes throughout the book, and he was called out on that.  He apologized and promised that he would not make those jokes any more.  Also, when Simon actually came out, he parents were so cool, and chill, and they let Simon know that they would love and accept him no matter what.   Every kid should be so lucky to have parent's like Simon's.  (Because yes, even in 2018, there are still parents who do shitty things like kicking their kids out of the house for coming out.) I also really appreciate that this is another book where the parents are, you know, in the picture. There are so many YA books these days where the parents are just MIA through the whole book.  Like, you're a minor - where the heck are your parents?!!?!

The Drama Stuff: Now, I know this sounds weird, because usually all the drama in books drives me crazy.  So what I mean by this is that the author does have *some* drama in the book, but she shows us that, when given the chance, teenagers are actually very capable of talking about issues and resolving them in their own way.  Teenagers are smarter than you think they are folks. These friends did a great job of talking about things that were bothering them, even when they did get mad and needed a break.  Eventually they were able to work out their problems without being a bunch of whiny little bitches.

A Gay Main Character!:  I know I shouldn't be this excited about it, because there are other books that have gay MC's, but this book is just so amazing.  Having Simon in the front and center, being gay and coming out is just awesome. I think it is so so important for gay teens to have books like this, so they know that it's okay to be gay, and so they know that there will always be people around them who love them just the way they are!

Really, there wasn't anything I didn't like about this book (other than the whole Martin thing - go read it and find out what I mean!)  

I think my love for this book could very well be summed up with the following memes: 

No comments:

Post a Comment