I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 7, 2015
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is the epitome of epic and adorable. Right from the opening line, I was hooked. Save for a handful of moments in the first half of the book when I felt a bit of a disconnect with the characters and the story, there was nothing about this book that I didn’t love. With real, relatable characters, an adorable coming-of-age/coming out story and Becky Albertalli’s gorgeous writing, this is a must-read for everyone!
Also, just so we’re clear, there’s no way this review can possibly do this book justice. It’s just one of those books that you have to read and see for yourself! But I’ll do my best to put the awesome into words :)
I loved Simon! He was adorably awkward and his internal monologues/one-liners were hilarious. Some of my favorite quotes in the book come from him. Albertalli did an incredible job capturing Simon’s voice and personality. I felt like I was right there with Simon, living and experiencing everything he did. He would bring up middle school and I’d instantly be back in middle school, remembering all the awkwardness. His fears and insecurities were spot on.
Martin was … Well, I don’t really know how to describe Martin because I’m still trying to figure him out myself. He had no problem with Simon, he just saw an opportunity and went for it. I hated him for the things he did to Simon and the way he treated him. But as the story went on, I also started to feel for him a little bit. Not as much as I did for Simon. But Martin showed he had an okay side at times and I like what he did in the end.
I loved Simon’s group of friends: Nick, Abby and Leah – Nick and Abby especially, though. Even though Abby was a new friend in his life, she was an incredible friend and I loved their dynamic. My heart broke for them near the end, but all ended up being well, thank goodness. Nick was just really cool and I loved the way he stood by Simon. As for Leah… I loved her in the beginning and I understand why she was so hurt in the middle/end, but… I hated her attitude and I felt so bad for Simon. It really changed my opinion about Leah. I get it, I do.. But she just annoyed me.
I loved that Simon had an awesome, supportive family. I loved that Simon’s parents were THERE. Unlike so may YA books where you never see the parents and wonder if the main character even has any, Simon’s parents were there for him and they set boundaries and rules and punished him when he did something wrong. But they were also fair. Simon got along with Nora and Alice, his sisters, for the most part. They didn’t always get along 100% and they sometimes had small fights, but nothing crazy or explosive. I’m so tired of YA novels where the siblings despise each other and are mean to each other and where the parents are practically invisible. It’s just not realistic and it was so refreshing to see something more realistic and relatable.
Also, another notable “character” that deserves a shout-out is Bieber the Dog! As a dog lover, I really just wanted to cuddle with Bieber! And I never thought I’d say “cuddle” and “Bieber” in the same sentence, but there ya go! I also liked how Bieber was always involved. Like, some authors mention the family has a pet and then the pet is never around. When you own an animal and it bonds with you or someone in your family, it’s ALWAYS around and ALWAYS wants attention. So I loved that Albertalli never forgot Bieber and he was interactive in the scenes at Simon’s house.
Simon and Blue’s emails were the actual best thing ever. They were my favorite part of the book and so adorable and sweet and real. Honestly, the whole book could have been made up of their emails and I wouldn’t have minded. I wish we’d had MORE emails. I grinned like an idiot for most of the email chapters. And a few times, they made my heart break. But they were the absolute best part of everything and I adored them. I especially liked the autocorrect fail Simon experienced near the beginning! Bahahaha!!!
When it came to Blue’s identity, I had three main suspects in my mind. One would have ticked me off, one wasn’t completely practical and one seemed really possible, if not a bit far-fetched. Roughly half-way through the book, I formed a very solid theory. Once in awhile, something would happen and my theory would shift among the main three suspects, but I mostly stuck to the belief that my original theory was correct. And, you know what? It was! And when we finally discovered who Blue was? I grinned like an idiot and pumped my fist and swooned! Because it was absolutely perfect and epic and I loved it and I could keep going on and on, so I’ll stop now… ^_^
My only (half-joking) complaint is that I would have LOVED more Simon & Blue (post-identity reveal) together time! They were adorable together and I wanted more of them!!! So.. Hey, Becky? Sequel, please?!?!? Or.. belated epilogue? Or deleted scenes? SOMETHING?!?!? *Puppy eyes*
So yeah… If you couldn’t tell from my gushy, fangirly, nonsensical review, I adored pretty much everything about this amazing, adorable, epic book. We need more diverse books and we need more books like this one. You just really need to read it cause my review didn’t do it justice. I recommend it to everyone. I will shove it into people’s hands if I have to. It’s a MUST read!!! I seriously can’t wait to read Albertalli’s next book! And every book she ever rights, period.
I don’t know how this book flew so far under my radar before it was released – it sounds amazing!! Glad you loved it!
It’s absolutely amazing! Happy reading! :)
YESSS!! The more reviews I read for this one the happier I get that I preordered it and the more impatient I grow waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail!
And you’ve mentioned something in your review that no other review I’ve seen has, and that’s Bieber the dog!! I’m so happy to hear there’s a puppy and that it’s part of the family and the book! Except, Bieber?? SERIOUSLY?!?