Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

March 20, 2018
By Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
293 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"So many books, so little time"


Synopsis (Fromm Goodreads):
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.


Plot:
Simon Spier is your typical teenager. With “We are the cool parents” mom and dad, the middle child between two sisters, a golden retriever, a great friend group, and a non-speaking role in his school musical Oliver!, Simon should be living the high life. Except one thing: he’s gay, and no one knows it. Well, that is a lie, he’s gay and only two people know it. First is Blue, another junior at their high school, who made a Tumblr post on their school’s confession page saying he was gay. Through email, Blue and Simon (under his pseudonym Jacques), started emailing each other, getting to know one each other, without the basic facts (i.e. the facts that would lead them to know each other in real life). As their email go from friendly to flirty, Simon starts to develop feelings for Blue, whomever he is. The other person who knows is Martin Addison. Martin, class clown, and a semi-big role in the musical, saw Simon’s emails. Unlike a normal person who would just move on with their life, Martin decides to screenshot them. Going to Simon he threatens to post them publicly unless Simon does his bidding. His task, was to get one of Simon’s best friend, Abby, to go on a date with Martin. Not so hard, right? Only problem is in Simon friend group, love was already complicated. With Leah in love with Nick, Nick in love with Abby, and Abby has no feelings towards Martin at all, Simon’s task was not the easiest. With Simon trying to enjoy life, attending Nick’s soccer games, rehearsal with Abby, Simon even shows up at a football game: “I guess it feels like I’m a part of something” (72). Still, Simon cannot relax with the threat of Martin hanging over his and Blue’s relationship. Simon goes through his life in his own awkward comedic way, as he tells you the story of friendship, family, and love for Blue, and whom he turns out to be.


Thoughts:
What a heart wrenching, comedic, story that Becky Albertalli gave to this world. Simon is a fantastic character, with so much depth, that you cannot help but laugh and cry with him. His nuclear family dynamic and typical high school drama is, well, typical, Albertalli writes it in a way that readers cannot help and fall in love with. Albertalli also added diversity within her characters, one that seem so natural. Even with the story being about gay Simon, she added other characters that were also not straight, different colors and religions, making it seem like an average high school in Georgia. The only part that is not very well explain is the Martin and Simon plot. With Martin, having a gay older brother, he should know Simon coming out is not something to mess with. Where the blackmail was what was driving the plot, it just felt, well wrong, and made Martin look like a criminal where really he was just a love-sick guy trying to get the pretty girl. Beside Simon, and maybe Nick, Blue is the next character readers can fall in love with. With his perfect emails, toeing the line of sexting, Blue is another character that plays a huge role in Simon life, but is not revealed until near the end of the book, even though he is there the whole time. Which is maybe why Albertalli introduces so many minor characters that do not play a huge role in the plot, as a way to mask who Blue really is. The movie adaptation comes out March 2018, under the name Love, Simon, staring Nick Robinson as Simon. The name Homo Sapiens Agenda came from their emails where Blue and Simon come up with the name as their outrage in the default it is to be straight. Overall this comical book is about life, coming out of that closet, falling head over heels in young love, and all the things good in the world.


The author's comments:

A truly fantastic book, one that I would highly recommend!


Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 0 comments.



Parkland Book