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BOOK REVIEW: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

BOOK REVIEW: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

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.

It’s chilly and unnaturally quiet-if Abby weren’t with me, I would have to drown out the silence with music. It feels like we’re the last survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Wonder Woman and a gay dementor. It doesn’t bode well for the survival of the species.

So…this is new. A little birdie Alien told me that I just haaaddddd to read this. So I did. I asked her what I should read over my weekend getaway and this was her response. No, it wasn’t particularly what I would have chosen for myself, and no-I don’t think I’ll read a ton like this because…okay, I’ll get to that later. But, my point is, this book was just what I needed.

I take a sip of my beer, and it’s-I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting. I don’t think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I’d rather make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin.
Anyway, it really makes you wonder about the hype surrounding sex.

Every once in a while we just need a book to, I don’t know, reset everything. Reset your mood, reset your genre, reset your view of life-whatever you need reset, really. So, yeah, this is completely out of my comfort zone, but it was just so damn cute that I hardly cared. This book was a complete breath of fresh air because, and I’m speaking extremely candidly here, I had literally zero expectations. Zilch. Nada. None. So, to say I was impressed and surprised would be an understatement.

“That’s seriously bullshit,” says Mila. “You need to just talk to him.” And then she sees me standing there listening and shoots me the stink-eye.
So here’s the thing: Simon means ‘the one who hears’ and Spier means ‘the one who watches.’ Which means I was basically destined to be nosy.

Now, let’s not mistake my being honest for being biased or cruel-I like what I like and other people like what they like and that’s awesome-really, it is. And it’s even harder reading about something that isn’t….what you…I don’t know…picture? It’s just hard for me to fathom this. And I’m okay with that-I loved literally every minute of this story, obviously, if you can’t tell by my rating. I actually was at a 5 for most of the story, if you can believe it, which I can’t. I read this on the way home from Cedar Point (Yeah, see, I loved it so much that I read in the mother effin’ car!! I have NEVER done this. Ever. So, see? Much enjoyment) But the minute it’s revealed who the guy is (I knew it, by the way-so cute), things took that turn I’m uncomfortable with. You know what I’m saying…kissing and the like. And that’s my fault! So, literally I loved this, I just couldn’t ‘get into’ those scenes at the end. Only negative-literally.

But now that I said my only dislike, let’s get to everything I loved, which was almost everything. What I said above doesn’t mean I didn’t adore the end-it was perfection. Everything leading up to that moment made it all the more special and I couldn’t help but to smile like a goon. And the fact that it was YA really helped, too, if I’m honest. It’s my favorite genre, and especially for this it was really toned down.

“Okay, well, I’m taking over your bathroom now. Time for the transformation.”
“Sounds good,” I say. “I’ll transform in here.”
Nora looks up from her book. “Simon. Eww.”
“It’s a dementor robe over my clothes. I think you’ll survive.”
“What’s a dementor?”
I mean, I can’t even.

Simon was just such an amazing character. I mean, everything he said made me smile so big it was on the deranged side, and the minute our road trip home started, I fell into my impenetrable personal bubble. I think I rode home with three other people…was I supposed to be talking to them? Whoops. Guess I’m an antisocial ass-Nose in a book and no regrets. My point? I wanted Simon to be my friend. He was so funny and witty and and his inner thoughts absolutely slayed me. I highlighted so much of his inner thoughts that I am going to have a difficult time picking out quotes. He thinks just like me…..but it’s actually funny when he thinks it.

“Are you guys going to rehearsal today?”
“Oh, it’s optional now?” I ask. And then I do this thing I picked up from Leah, where you kind of cut your eyes to the side and narrow them. It’s more subtle than rolling your eyes. Much more effective.

And then the friendships. Omg I just loved Abby, especially. I loved the friendship, the shoulder to lean on, the ear to spill all secrets to…all his friends just surrounded him with such love, adoration, and loyalty that it made my heart burst. Simon goes through a difficult period, guys, all because of an instance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s cruel. It’s not right…but the support system that rallies behind him? That possibly warmed my heart the most.

“Mom,” I say.
She tips her palms up.
“Come on. Please.” Already, Nora’s opening up the car door.
“I’m open to negotiating,” she says.
“For what?”
“One night of parole in exchange for ten minutes of access to your Facebook.”
Jesus Christ.
“Five,” I say. “Supervised.”

So, yeah. I loved this. And I think it’s kind of an ‘everybody’ book. It’s unoffensive and makes you laugh, and it’s so different from anything you’ve ever read. Blue is his secret guy, and they email back and forth through the whole story so you never know who it is, but you continually guess. Your heart breaks for Simon, for his inner turmoil and need to meet Blue. The way he reaches out to him…I just adored it. So, I don’t quite know who to rec this to, but I know that people could love it. I was in the right mood and it made my spirits soar-maybe it will yours, too.

 

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Aw shucks, guys…..this was just way too cute:


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Yeah. It was like a Disney movie montage. Adorbs. (Yeah I went there)

Review to come ♥

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda?? How about:

Anna vs. Chelsea’s Peril Agenda

Surriously. She’s killing me with the begging and unrefined puppy dog kitty cat eyes.


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BOOK REVIEW – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

BOOK REVIEW – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

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.

This book was a serious breath of fresh air, and I end up with the biggest smile on my face.

“I take a sip of my beer, and it’s – I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting. I don’t think I was expecting it to taste like ice-cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this?”

▥ What you need to know if the fact that we have no idea who is this Blue guy that Simon is emailing until almost the very end. However, we get to know him – and Simon, in another way – through theirs emails and I can say without doubt that it was the part that I preferred. Strangely, Blue became pretty fast my favorite character. Strangely because we only know him through messages and all. What can I say? I’m a sucker for emails and messages inserted in a book. Damn, I’m such a stalker (shut up). All of that is to say that I can completely understand how Simon could fall in love with him without meeting him – Hell, I barely kept in check my crush on him (what? He is so freaking cute!). Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Simon as well. Simon, who made me burst of laughing with his Draco-Harry fan fictions (for real, I had to explain why I was laughing like crazy and all that), roll my eyes smiling because he was so clueless, Simon who is freaking adorable and funny.

Simon who sounds like a real teenager and who has multiple crushes. I’m sorry but yes, that’s high school for you (or was I the only one? Please say no). And then, there’s this moment we learn who Blue is. Happy sigh. View Spoiler »

To sum up, Simon, I really liked you, even if sometimes,

Friendship is portrayed in a realistic way in my opinion, because even if Leah, Nick, Abby and Simon share a strong connection, that did not prevent them from arguing or being jealous or whatever else feeling we humans feel sometimes. That’s why I really appreciated to follow this bunch of realistic and supportive characters. However, I would have loved it if the characterization of the characters outside Simon was more developed. Indeed if Simon’s and Blue’s characters are fleshed-out (which is amazing concerning Blue, because we know him only through his emails during the most part of the book) unfortunately the others lack depth in my opinion, especially Nick and Leah. Now, we’re following Simon’s journey, so on the other hand it can be explained.

“If she thinks me drinking coffee is big news, it’s going to be quite a fucking morning.”

▥ Truth be told, I absolutely adored the dynamic between the different members of Simon’s family. Indeed they’re far from perfect, a little on the crazy side, unable to mind their own business, but the most important is that they rang true to me. Perhaps that’s because my family always was a little anti-conformist either? Even if yes, we do the Blue’s Christmas thing where we open our presents one after the other but that’s pretty awesome in my opinion and I so stick out my tongue at you, Simon.

“It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold.”

▥ Finally, this book deals with pretty hard subjects as bullying, blackmailing, and above that, the difficulties to find and express our identity. Actually, I’m not sure of what I think about the way they are handled here. Indeed if they aren’t completely dismissed (which would have maddened me for sure) they’re not completely treated either and I got the feeling that everything was wrapped too nicely in the end. Perhaps am I too pessimistic? I don’t really know. Maybe. But in my opinion it would have been more interesting to explore these issues further, even if it would have impacted the general happy feeling we get when reading this book. Not that we don’t come across some heartbreaking moments. We do, and that’s what make the whole book beautiful in its own way – flawed, but sincere.

✐ As for the writing, the fact that I read it in one sitting says something, doesn’t it? While I can’t brag about amazing metaphors or original writing, in my opinion it’s perfect how it is, that is to say, addictive as a book from Kody Keplinger or Kasie West can be, with the right amount of fluffiness and laughter to keep you in a good mood. That was the case for me, anyway.

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