Thursday, January 12, 2017

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I don't even know. I'm just so sick of straight people who can't get their shit together.

This was an adorable book.

My goal for this 2017 is to read more diverse and step aside from books that will piss me off (AKA books with problematic stuff that is never addressed or treated with respect). Simon VS the Homo Sapiens was a fantastic book I got to read because of that resolution.

Truth be told I had heard about this book for a long time; everybody said how cute it was, or how wonderful the romance was presented… but I’m always the black sheep of the herd (duh) so I was a bit afraid of reading it and not liking it.


There’s not much I can say without giving away spoilers or the plots for each characters development, but I’ll try to give a mini review.

Simon is being blackmailed. One day, after leaving his email open at the library computer, a classmate named Martin screenshot his conversation with an anonymous boy named simply “Blue” and tells Simon that either he helps him get the girl he wants (Simon’s close friend Abby) or he’ll make the emails, and his sexuality, public.

This was a book that treaded with a good load of topics; it tackled the typical “nice guy” so often seen in YA and destroyed it (fuck you Martin, seriously, fuck you), stereotypes, racism and privilege.

Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a character driven story, so the “plot” we got is about Simon trying to decide what to do with Martin (succumb to his blackmail or risk exposure?) while exploring his relationships with his friends, family and how this secret could affect him and Blue, the boy he doesn’t know in real life and is afraid that, once revealed, this could make the reserved boy never speak to Simon again.

Simon: He was a nice narrator. I liked his friendships and how the book represented the conflicts there (like with Leah and Abby or how you can try to please everybody and end up making everybody mad at you). However, there were a few things I didn’t quite get, like why not talk about the blakcmail instead of going along with Martin’s request (again, fuck you, Martin) or why he never thought about what this would mean for Abby, that was kinda shitty.

Blue: Precious cinnamon roll. His emails were great, though I can’t help but want to see more of him in “real life” once Simon actually met him. There were so many interesting things about him like his family (his father having another children and him not being an only child after so long was a good plot), his friends?? His passions and likes. He wasn’t underdeveloped in any way, but I still wanted to see more of him.

Leah: Complicated character, but oddly probably one of the most relatable ones. Her self-esteem issues connected to her weight and her family’s jokes was something that carried on throughout the story. It was so interesting to see how this affected her relationship with her friends, how she hated being left aside but, at the same time, how her cynicism and bad mood could make people… not want to be with her. It was terrible, but quite realistic and I liked that her character didn’t have to change to please others but rather began to learn to be more comfortable with herself, and that lead to an improvement in her relationship with her friends.

Abby: I feel like her story line had so much potential between her family and the issue with Leah, but… it kind of went nowhere? (view spoiler)

Nick:… Why was he in the story? I don’t want to be mean but compared to the rest of the characters he had no personality or history at all other than a crush on Abby while Leah was crushing on him… besides that, what? Family? Friends? Dreams? Did we know anything about him?


"I actually think people would be cool about it," Martin says. "You should be who you are."

I don't even know where to begin with that. Some straight kid who barely knows me, advising me on coming out. I kind of have to roll my eyes.

Ultimate asshole. Seriously, I felt so frustrated with him and his attitude. He was blackmailing Simon but got offended when Simon called him out on it. He had this whole “I’m actually nice, I don’t get why you get mad if I’m forcing you to make your friend like me or I’ll tell everybody about something really private of yours. But I’m totally a really nice guy!!!!”
Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou

I did like how the story presented more than one side to him, but didn’t try to justify his actions. He was a dick.

To sum up, Simon V the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a great book with great characters and I wholeheartedly recommend it!

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