20 May 2015

Nerding Out: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
April 7th, 2015 · Penguin
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 303
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. 
First off, let me start by saying Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was my most anticipated release of the year. So as you can imagine, I was expecting some really big things from this book. By now, you've probably heard all about it and have read countless rave reviews. Well, all I can say is this: buckle up because you’re in for another one. Raving ahead.

Where to start? How about at the heart and driving force of the story: the characters. I loved them all (minus one. blackmailing is not cool, man) and Simon is a new favourite character of mine. With his love for Oreos and obsession with Harry Potter (which similarly expresses how I feel about Buffy. Nerds unite!), he’s such a loveable character with heart. I only wish Simon and his friends existed outside the confines of Becky’s imagination because I’d friend them in an instant; they are my kind of people. Also, Drunk Simon is the absolute best.

I enjoyed the emails between Simon and Blue. They were lovely glimpses of two friends slowly becoming something more, as they exchanged stories, thoughts and support. Of course, all while staying anonymous. Most of all, I loved how they got to know each other over time. It made for such a great slow-building, not-your-average love story and was lovely to watch unfold. And when they finally do meet? I was just as excited and nervous as Simon was, with my heart in my throat. Let me say, much like this novel, it didn't disappoint!

The support Simon receives from his family, friends and teachers after coming out was so great and I only wish this was the kind of response all LGBT teens experienced. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case, so I'm SO glad that Simon exists in the world and hope that it finds the people who need it the most. Some might say Simons’ coming out experience was too neat and perfect, but I think it's just what the doctor ordered and what LGBT YA has been lacking. Regardless of sexuality, everyone deserves to read books that give them hope; light at the end of the tunnel; and the chance to feel not so alone in the world. I feel Simon accomplishes just that.

But don't be fooled, Simon is more than just a pretty face! In particular, I like how the book addressed the default that exists; that until proven otherwise you are straight and white. I mean, just imagine if everyone, gay or straight, had to "come out”. It’s reasons like this that makes me wish Becky Albertalli ruled the world.

A sweet, relevant, heartfelt story that will capture your heart! In case it isn’t clear enough by now: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book you should get in before the year ends because I guarantee it’ll be one of your best life decisions of 2015. This was an absolute blast to read and I can’t wait to see what Becky writes next. Check her out because I have no doubt that she is going to be one to watch!

P.S. I highly recommend you read this in style and pick up some Oreos to further the experience! I'm sure Simon would fully support this, and knowing him, he'd probably even make it mandatory. ha!


  1. YOU REC'ED THIS THE OTHER DAY DID YOU NOT?? I feel like everyone's rec'ed this to me WHY HAVEN'T I READ IT YET THEN?? I've heard it's incredibly sweet and the fact that it actually addresses stigmas and whatnots just makes it all the more important that more people read this right?? INCLUDING ME. In fact I should be at the top of the list of people who NEED TO DESPERATELY GET MY ACT TOGETHER HAHAHA WAIT FOR ME BECCA <333

  2. I'm actually reading this right now Rebecca! :) It is such a sweet and light read so far, and from what you've said it sounds like the romance and self-discovery are a definite winning combination. Thank you for sharing this wonderful review! ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

  3. I always love reading your reviews, Becca. You write so well :D Can't wait to read this ASAP xx

  4. I'm so glad to see that you really loved this one! I've been seeing it around tons and it seems like something I'd absolutely love. I'll have to hurry up and buy myself a copy so I can experience it myself! I'll also be sure to eat it with Oreos. :) Great review! I love your blog design by the way. It's lovely!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  5. I know how everyone adores this book and I can't wait to grab a copy myself! It's amazing to know that this book talks about so many issues LGBTQIA people go through, and tackle them realistically and sensitively, with a tad of sweetness and light-heartedness at the side. I know so many people who would love to read this because they're going through the same thing, and I'm falling in line right beside them.

    Faye at The Social Potato

  6. Simon easily wormed his way into my heart as well! I am obsessed with Oreos too, so I connected with him on a spiritual level, haha. :) I agree about the romance too. It was slow and perfectly paced. I loved the mystery behind Blue's identity, too. :) And I love how you mentioned that this book was written to give HOPE. Basically I loved this whole review and I used the word "love" too much in this comment. :P

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

  7. Awh, yay! Another fan in the SIMON fanclub :D I'm glad you liked this one, Rebecca, because I think it's one of the most lovely LGBT+ YA books out there, and I think everyone should read it. Which is one of the reasons why the fact that almost every blogger I know is reading this. It makes me super happy. I only wish that every LGBT+ YA release was welcomed with such loving arms. Maybe one day :)

    I agree with everything you said in this review, and I really want to re-read SIMON ASAP!

  8. I need to read this just for drunk Simon. Bec, that is ABSOLUTELY what YA LGBT needs, positive and realistic experiences. Not that everyone is accepting, but for the most part friends and family are and they'll provide tremendous support. I love the sound of the emails, getting to know one another before taking that plunge. I can already see that I'll be head over heels and tagging along on their first date as well. Ohhhh, I need to start this ASAP. So glad you enjoyed it Bec, it sounds incredibly heartwarming and beautiful! <3

  9. I am going to read this one ASAP, I swear! I've seen this book popping up pretty much everywhere but I haven't had the opportunity to actually read it yet lol.

    Nice review, Bec <33

  10. Lovely review, and glad to see another rave added to the pile! I agree with everything you said - I love how supportive Simon's friends and family were, and I loved the way Simon chose to tell them. And, oh my, was my heart fluttering for him and Blue!