Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, LGBT
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7th 2015

5 OUT OF 5 STARS

“People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

Simon isn’t out, at least not until a classmate gets a hold of an e-mail he’d rather not have seen. If Simon can’t make his best friend fall for Martin his sexuality is going to be exposed. Worse, his secret crush, Blue, will be involved if Martin releases the screenshot. Simon’s school year will be a mess of navigating blackmail, friend problems, and flirty e-mails with a boyfriend who has a secret identity.

Albertalli gets it. She has captured team school and family life excellently. She has captured what it’s like to be a fan without making the book about fandom. She’s written to a T the difficult friend who everyone still loves. Best of all she’s captured the confusing and wonderful feelings of first love.

Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is cheesy in the best way. Simon has his difficulties but nothing ever dips too far below lighthearted. Albertalli writes Simon with an excellent and unique sense of humour that will make everyone laugh and smile. It’s one of the truest representations of a feel-good read that I can think of.

This book is a romance, and the relationship between Simon and Blue is everything readers can hope for. Awkward, adorable, and undeniably hot at times. However, Albertalli doesn’t fall into the pitfall so many romance novels do. Blue is not the only thing in Simon’s life. Simon has an interesting and well-rounded family and friend group. His family is predictable, loving sisters, goofy dad, and a strict mom but the attention Albertalli paid to his friends is particularly impressive.

Simon’s friend group feels real. Leah is the real winner because she’s a character so rarely written who exists everywhere in real life. Leah is difficult. She complains, she’s making things difficult with the new girl, and she’s angry at the drop of a hat. That isn’t everything Leah is. She gets everyone a cake on their birthday. She’s an amazing artist. People can have bad traits and still be good friends. Likewise, even the annoying popular girl Taylor has a surprisingly sweet side.

This is Albertalli’s first novel, and it’s already clear that she’s perfectly suited to young adult literature. Albertalli has somehow managed to, in her debut, write one of the funniest and most realistic young adult novels I have ever read and I’m ecstatic to see what she’ll write next.

BUY THE BOOK

Read this if you’re a fan of: Fangirl

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