Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Title:
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Rating: ★★1/2

Provided Synopsis: 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.

Review: To follow in the wise words my friend Chelsea once wrote in a review: “I can sort of tell that it’s a debut book.”

Why? Because of the writing.

For a long time it was looking as if I was going to have to DNF this one, mainly because the writing was incredibly aggravating to me with its simplicity and general vagueness. It seemed as if I was being thrown every thought in Simon’s head, which did not work for me in accordance to how he was written. Also, the story always seemed to be unfolding without much of a plot in sight as the reader follows him through nearly every day of his life and all of the trial and tribulations that went along with it.

Luckily, however, I was eventually able to reconcile myself with the writing and focus in on the character. This became even easier for me to accomplish once Simon was forced to come out to, as he puts it, the universe, for it was there that I could really feel for him and the jumble of emotions within his head. When the book took a look into the matter of sexual orientation — and Simon and Blue’s homo sapiens agenda — it was well done.

I also found the budding romance to be incredibly cute, too, and I wish the reader could have been given more time with it! Yes, the identity of Blue was easy for me to guess, but what I liked about Simon and Blue were their interactions, and how the two of them felt more real and dimensional than all the other characters in the book.

In the end, what I really want you to take away from this review is: beware the hype monster. The raves are everywhere, therefore you really will have to read this one and judge for yourself; my advice is only to be aware of the writing and reconcile yourself with it before you begin.

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