Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Penguin Random House UK
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Romance
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
So this is one I’ve been looking forward to read ever since I heard about it, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is about Simon, a closeted gay teenager, and his online relationship with the mysterious Blue. Simon doesn’t know who Blue is, but he knows they go to the same school and he knows that he likes him and that they can tell each other things they don’t tell anyone else. Then a guy from school happens to see Simon and Blue’s emails to each other and begins to blackmail Simon, forcing Simon to become his wingman or else both Simon and Blue will be outed.
This review will talk about Blue’s identity, so if you haven’t read this book yet then please skip that part. I will warn you before that part comes.
This book is cute. Dangerously so. I’m so weak for plots like this one, there are a lot of them in the fanfiction world but not too many in the published world (I don’t think). The emails between Simon and Blue are adorable and funny and overall just very believable. The dialogue and the voice in this book definitely speaks teenager, complete with teenage vocabulary of today like “I can’t even.” They even use Tumblr. Simon’s school has one of those awful anonymous “secrets” blogs, you know what I’m talking about. Only drama comes out of those but damn if they’re not addictive. Anyway, while the book reads like teenager, I didn’t find it annoying (as someone who is not a teenager anymore) and that’s a big plus.
While the blackmail aspect of this book sounds quite angsty, it’s actually pretty light in the angst department. There’s a lot of humor in this book and the way Simon kinda sorta became friends with Martin, his awkward blackmailer, was very funny.
Maybe he’s my blackmailer. Maybe he’s also becoming my friend. Who the hell knows if that’s even allowed.
One part of Simon vs that I really liked was how I could identify with the part of Simon that hates “coming out” and I’m not talking about sexuality here, but just in general. He hates feeling like everything new he does is a big deal to everyone, and I just feel that so much, it actually surprised me when I read that because I thought I was alone in that. I guess adults can learn something from YA novels, take that, book snobs! To show you what I mean I’ll add this quote below that resonated with me so much.
But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.
My mind was a little bit blown when I read that, to be honest.
Hmm, what else. Oh yes, Blue.
I read some reviews where people were surprised to find out who Blue was and some that had figured it out. I had definitely figured it out. I knew it wouldn’t be who Simon thought it was (even though Cal is adorable) because come on, we all know how mysteries work, and I knew it probably wasn’t Nick, and Martin wouldn’t make sense. So when Blue told Simon in an email that he goes all silent when he talks to guys in real life I had a main suspect, and I was right. That scene in the classroom was the give-away and the hints kept proving my theory.
So yes, I was definitely a fan of the mystery aspect of this book, even if I figured it out early on. The final scenes were just too cute and all in all the word to describe this book is CUTE. This was a great debut novel, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for other books by Albertalli.
Have you read this book? Are you going to? Did you guess Blue’s identity?