Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

This book has been on my radar for months, mostly due to the hundreds of pictures featuring it along with packages of Oreos on my Twitter feed. I put off reading it half because I was scared it wouldn’t live up to the hype, and half because if it did, I wanted to save it. But this month has been rough, and I found myself in need of something fun, uplifting and with the best kind of feels. So I finally picked this book up on a whim, thinking it was high time to give it a shot.

I didn’t get along with this book at first. I made it about halfway through the book still thinking I might just pack it in – that the hype monster had gotten me, and that I was destined for deep, soul-crushing disappointment. But I had nothing better going on, so I stuck with it. And I was rewarded for my perseverance a hundredfold.

This book has some great, realistic characters, and they’re complete with weaknesses and mistakes. They’re also really believable portrayals of teenagers going through the growing pains all adolescents must face – as well as some reserved for those who don’t quite fit in.

This is a great book to read if you like issue-based young adult books. The main issue in this book is the sexual orientation of the main character, and his struggle to accept himself and trust his friends and family with the truth of who he is. But there are other issues – bullying, navigating first relationships, and the important role parents play in their teenagers’ lives. There’s a lot of substance to this book, but there’s also a lot of fun and whimsy. In short, there’s a little something for everyone.

On a personal note, this book touched me. I’m older than most book bloggers who review young adult books, being in my mid-30s, so my teenage years are well behind me. When I was a teenager we didn’t really have the entire genre of books for teenagers that is young adult. There were books written for teens (notably those by Judy Blume), but I feel like the genre has blossomed and grown over the past decade or so, and there is now a wealth of literature for teens to look to for relatable characters. When I was a teenager I read adult books that dealt with lots of different issues, but they were written by and for grown ups, and didn’t involve the teen perspective. So it makes my heart grow several sizes every time I read a book that should have always been available to teenagers struggling for a road map to follow through those difficult years. I love seeing diversity represented on the page. This book definitely made me wish it had been around when I was a teenager.

Despite my slow start, this is a book I’d definitely recommend all teens (and their parents) read – as well as anyone looking for a heartwarming story to cosy up a winter’s day. Make sure you’re well stocked with Oreos before you dive in, though, because this book is bound to give you a wicked Oreo craving!

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. – Goodreads

Book Title: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Series: No
Edition: Paperback
Published By: Penguin
Released: April 7, 2015
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT
Pages: 303
Date Read: November 4-6, 2015
Rating: 8/10

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  2. Martha

    I think I have this downloaded, but haven’t read it yet! It does sound interesting. I also feel like YA has really expanded of late–I don’t remember all of these “issue”-based books around when I was a teen. I’m glad to see so many different topics being tackled at a YA level for kids who otherwise might not have that exposure or might have questions but don’t know where to go for answers.


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