By: Celine | April 3, 2015 | (21) Comments

Discussion Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: April 7th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, GLBT, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review, Won
Goodreads | Purchase

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.

Discussion review by Celine and Larissa

*this review is spoiler-free*

Larissa: I was so pleased to receive and read this book from a giveaway at the Midnight Garden. I had high expectations and for the first time in awhile all of them were met. I can say in utter and complete honesty that Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda truly was a brilliant and emotional read that I’d recommend to anybody.

Celine: I was really excited for this one, because I looove LGBT books. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. At all. If I had to use two words they would be quirky and adorable. Everything about this book is so damn CUTE, and I loved Simon’s voice!

Larissa: I think diversity is important in YA, but sometimes can feel contrived or stereotypical in YA. However that certainly wasn’t the case for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I think this story is one of the most genuine and authentic LGBT stories I’ve ever read. It felt so honest and true, which was further demonstrative through Simon and his voice. The voice was truly amazing and brought life into the story. It made me feel some emotionally connected and true sympathy for Simon.

Celine: I completely agree with you! Everything in the book just felt so well done and natural. And I absolutely LOVED Simon’s voice. He was just so genuine and funny and I want to hug him forever, basically.

Larissa: And yes, it was adorable. I loved the whole concept with the e-mails to Blue. It could have been cheesy, but it always felt witty and done in an way that was truly adorable.

Celine: Ah, yes, the emails! They were basically my favourite thing about the book (okay, basically everything was my favourite thing about the book but we’ll ignore that for now). They were genuinely sweet and funny and I just loved them. Both Blue’s and Simon’s voices felt authentic and their overall banter and the way they got to know each other was fantastic.

Larissa: There was definitely that natural and organic quality to this story. I found myself truly enamored in the story because of it. This allowed me to better connect to everything and really made me feel.

I was originally worried about the e-mails but they just worked wonderfully. The banter killed me with laughter and swoons, I totally was able to connect with the feelings they gave Simon. I felt like a little schoolgirl at some points, with my giggling. IT WAS JUST SO CUTE. I also felt like the side characters were done quite well. Simon’s friends and family members were fleshed out and given importance in the novel. They were much more than just empty characters with no purpose.

Celine: I agree with you on that – the side characters were simply wonderful as well. The book shows some lovely friendships, both already existent and newly developing. Honestly, everything about this book is just so amazing and honest and funny. I could not put it down and had a huge smile on my face the whole time. I just want to hug this book – it’s the ultimate feel-good book that isn’t just about the fluff, though there’s plenty of that. It’s sunshine and ice cream – warm and sweet. I could reread this forever.

Larissa: Yes! Honestly, I could gush about this novel for days and days and days on end. I think you mean it’s sunshine and oreos though [;

Celine: Hahaha yes of course that’s what I meant. Now I’m wondering whether there’s such a thing as Oreo ice cream because that’s totally what this book is.

Larissa: ….girl you haven’t heard of oreo icecream?! It’s amazing okay. You need to remedy that right away.

Celine: I feel like I’m missing something in my life now… So I guess I need to find oreo ice cream somewhere.

Larissa: As much as this is a feel good novel full of cuteness and humor- there are some more serious moments that struck a chord with me.

As a side note, don’t you think everyone has to come out? Why is straight the default?


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

Both of those quotes really resonated with me and made me think.

Celine: Also I definitely agree with you on those quotes. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda may be funny and cute, but it also really does make some important points. It focuses on the fact that straight is seen as the default – that people are usually considered straight unless they specifically say otherwise. Simon raises a great point in this, wondering why gay people have to do the whole coming-out thing but straight people don’t. So not only is Simon simply heartwarming, it also made me think.

Larissa: Yeah Simon is a debut novel that I would easily recommend to anybody just because it manages to touch on so many good points- it’s undeniably adorable, funny and yet intrinsically deep. It’s diverse, includes strong friends/family relationships and an endearingly honest narration that shines through Simon. READ THIS ONE GUYS. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Celine: And I really have nothing to add to that because everything you’ve said is completely true. So guys, if you like fluffy books, or LGBT books, or books that make you think, or plain AMAZING books, you need Simon in your life. That’s all I’m saying.


5 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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21 Responses to Discussion Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

  1. This makes me so much more excited to read Simon!! I’m also really excited for the emails now 🙂 I love that quote about straight being default!

    Great review, ladies!
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…Booking Into Spring Read-A-Thon Sign UpsMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Dude, you HAVE to read this one! The emails were done it such a cute and quirky way (: They were fun to read, and immersed in a way that didn’t feel contrived at all. And same here girl!

      Thank you <33

  2. Cynthia says:

    I had never even heard about this book until recently. It sounds awesome though. I have seen several blog reviews over the last week and they are all rave. Thanks for the review! I will be checking it out for sure.
    Cynthia recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: All The Rage by Courtney SummersMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah! Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a bad review for this one 😮 Makes sense after reading it personally though, I have nothing but love for this one. I hope you enjoy it Cynthia <33

  3. I have pre-ordered it and I cannot wait!! *-*
    Frannie Pan @ In Clouds of Pages recently posted…Review: “Any way you slice it” by Kristine Carlson AsselinMy Profile

  4. YAY so glad you both loved this! I’m reading it right now and it’s SO great 😀
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…Some Plots for Very Realistic YA NovelsMy Profile

  5. Wonderful discussion review! I do really hope to get a copy of this soon. It sounds amazing, and I love that you enjoyed Simon and his narrative voice so much. I also really like LGBT novels.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…When You Leave by Monica Ropal + Make it a GiftMy Profile

  6. Larissa says:

    Thanks girl! I hope you do manage to get your hands on this one soon, it’s certainly not a story you want to miss. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda sounds right up your alley (:

  7. Lexa Cain says:

    How great to see a GLBT book out from a big publisher! I’m delighted to see both Larissa and Celine had such a positive reaction to it. I hope the big pubbers will take more chances on diverse characters and themes. Great review!
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Zombie Party & FreebiesMy Profile

  8. Oreo ice cream… isn’t that Cookies and Creme?! DEFINITELY have some, Celine!! You HAVE TO!! <3 I'm so happy to see you both loved this so much. It's coming up on my TBR very soon, so I'll be reading it myself. Yay! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Blog Tour | My Thoughts + Giveaway: Captive by Brighton WalshMy Profile

  9. Hannah says:

    So so excited for this one! And so glad it releases this week. Cute, funny, diverse and making important points? Count me in!

    Loved your discussion, btw.
    Hannah recently posted…Review: Delicate Monsters – Stephanie KuehnMy Profile

  10. This sounds absolutely fantastic. The humor, the romance and the diversity all seem to come together to make a fabulous novel. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for this one, so I’m glad to see it didn’t disappoint you two. ♥ Thanks for sharing – love the dual review!
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…ExtractionMy Profile

  11. Ksenia says:

    Great review, girls! I like this discussion format. It’s great when a book can be cute and fluffy and at the same time it deals with serious and important topics.
    Ksenia recently posted…Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn HolmesMy Profile

  12. Fantastic review you two! I have a copy of this for myself to read and now I’m looking forward to it even more – it sounds like the awesome contemporary I’ve been looking for. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book recently posted…Discussion: Found In TranslationMy Profile

  13. I love this! Discussion reviews are so fun 🙂 And also, I really want to read this book. I mean, basically everyone loves it, and it sounds so, so amazing. I love those lines too, the ones about straight being the default, and I have always wondered the same thing! Why is that a thing!? I must get myself this book, ASAP!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Burn, Rewrite, or Reread?My Profile

  14. Melanie says:

    OMG CELINE HAVE YOU NOT HAD OREO ICE CREAM WHAT IS THIS. NOPE, NOPE NOPE, I SHALL FIX THIS AND SEND YOU OREO ICE CREAM RN BECAUSE THAT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE AND IT’S NOT GOING TO MELT AT ALL. *calms down* I waaaaaas going to read this book while I was in America but I clearly didn’t have any time to read at all so I’ll get on with this sometime soon so I can jump on this bandwagon.

    Lovely discussion, you two!

  15. I’ve been recommending this book like crazy! One of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s so adorable and so important at the same time. I love how realistic it is, too, and Simon’s voice is perfect.
    Great discussion, ladies!
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke: Guest Post + Giveaway!My Profile

  16. Andi says:

    Thanks for your thotuhgs. It’s helped me a lot.

  17. 07 Oct 06, 2011 1:16 am sabrina I enjoy your autumn posts very much. they remind me of my childhood in new england. you are right. simple decor goes such a long way…

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