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.
SIMON VS. was a book I had heard SO MUCH HYPE about for sooo long, but never felt particularly compelled to read. TBH, it’s about a boy, which I don’t normally like, and the cover kinda sucks, and I didn’t really know what to make of the title. What a mistake that was! I only wish I had read this sooner, because it’s THAT GOOD. The characters are wonderfully funny and honest and real and the whole book was so entertaining. I listened to the audiobook version and found myself sitting in my car a couple extra minutes to listen some more.
The plot centers around a developing romance between Simon and a mystery guy from his school who he knows as Blue. As the emails go on, they get to know each other better and really open up to each other and it is SO cute to watch them fall for each other. Simon and Blue discuss coming out to their families and friends, and their fears that go along with that. I loved how realistic Simon’s emotions felt to me. I was so connected with his whole story — wanting to find out who Blue was, wanting to come out and be himself, and the effects of his sometimes-dramatic friendships and family members.
One thing I really liked about Simon’s character was his perfect mix of comedy, cynicism, and weirdness, but in the way where you actually totally identify with him because you have the same kind of strange thoughts. Simon is the exact kind of friend I wish I would have had in high school.