Monday, July 16, 2018

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Series: Creekwood #1
Author: Becky Alertalli
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT+, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7, 2015

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.

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I'm mad at myself for waiting so long to read this because it was so good. Seriously, so good. This is the sort of book that gave me all sorts of happy, giddy feels. The sort of book that left me with a smile on my face after I turned the last page. I totally get the hype around it now. It's so adorable; I had heart eyes the whole time I was reading!

Simon is my favorite. Seriously, he was such an awesome character and just a joy to read about. He's the kind of character I wish I could make real and be best friends with. Even though he's not real, he felt so real and I loved that. It was refreshing reading about a character who was so vivid and was an accurate portrayal of high school students today. He was friendly and had awesome friends but also dealt with anxiety and overthinking at times. I know I've already said it a bunch but I really appreciate the realness of him and the other characters in this!

I loved the slow development between Simon and the mysterious Blue. The fact that they became confidants and such good friends through email was so adorable and sweet. And I had a field day trying to figure out who Blue was. Every guy that Simon interacted with at the school was suspect and I really loved the mystery aspect of the story! 

ALSO! I loved the relationship between Simon and his friends. They were awesome to each other and -- even though there were some problems sometimes -- always had each other's backs in the end. This was a super healthy representation of a friend group which isn't often found in YA but which we definitely need more of. AND Simon's relationship with his family was just as awesome and healthy. It was wonderful.

My only little tiny complaint is that the story sometimes felt rushed, disjointed, or abrupt. Some scenes ended so quickly that I was left with a bit of whiplash -- not a huge deal but it sometimes took me out of the story.

If, like me, you've waited years to pick up this book . . . do it now! It's an amazing story full of awesome representation and it needs to be read by all! I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!

“People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it's a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.” 

Four out of Five Teapots

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