Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapien's Agenda

Title: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 17, 2015
Pages: 303
Source: Kindle

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.

My Thoughts...

Okay, so now that I have a day to kind of get over mushing over this book it's time for a review. This is my first queer book I've ever read. I've seen rec's from a lot of people through friends or Tumblr, but this is the first one I've actually gone out to read because lovely Maryam from Once Upon a Story had a lovely Buddy Read sign up and I thought it would be a great opportunity to read a book I've been meaning to and gain a new friend, I mean who can say no to that. 

So I thought this book would be mostly comedy (trust me there's tons of comedy), but this book actually brought out some real struggles without being super in your face about it. If anything this book was extremely casual. It made me feel like I can take my time reading this book, but I also wanted to read this book to find out who Blue was. 

To backtrack, the person Simon is emailing in question is Blue and they have the most adorable relationship going on, but of course no one knows who the other is. So you have this fun little mystery of Guess Who, but also just a fun story being told from Simon's perspective. But over and over again I was telling Maryam I wanted to know WHO BLUE WAS. 

Taking the book apart, let's talk about characters. I loved most of the characters. Even the small ones. They all seemed to be their own entity and I loved just how Simon interacted with everybody. His family is quirky in totally that suburban quirky I will never understand. Nick and Abby were just adorable and fun to read about and of course Blue. I did really dislike Leah from the beginning. She seemed really uncool and she really reminded me of an ex-friend I had a little while ago. Granted, I think some of her feelings were validated but there were times where she mocked Simon's misfortunes when hers were no where near where his were and I thought that was petty and lame. Of course I really, really disliked Martin for obvious reasons and even more so later in the novel, no matter how many times he repents. Ugh. 

The writing in this book was, as I mentioned, really casual. I felt like I was talking to a friend and not a writer. It was nice and there were genuinely very funny moments. Even the sexual parts weren't that awkward. If anything it was a little funny at the same time. I loved that I constantly wanted to quote this book. I haven't felt that way in a really long time and I bookmarked this book a lot just for the quotes (which will be in a different post)

Anyhow, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a really good read for anyone who likes queer novels, but also really enjoys a contemporary book that's casual and makes you feel like you're part of the friend group instead of a weird observer. It's a good book that brings up very real issues for queer people in a very realistic way and also in a way that's not totally in your face about it. It happens, and Simon copes and that's what you read. There's nothing the writer is pushing through Simon that feels unnatural.