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.
Latest posts by Celine (see all)
- Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - January 18, 2016
- Celine’s 2015 End of Year Survey - December 31, 2015
- Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy - September 7, 2015
- That Time I Reread the Entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series - August 26, 2015