Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Becky Albertalli
Balzer + Bray
Published on April 7, 2015

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
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.

My Review
I’d heard a lot of buzz about this book and how great it is, which always makes me a little scared to read a book. I worry that I’ll be the weirdo who just doesn’t get the book or doesn’t like it. And while there were some things in this book that I struggled with (lots of swearing for instance) there were a lot of things I liked. Simon is the kind of narrator who draws you straight into the story.

I liked the email exchanges between him and Blue and loved the mystery of piecing together Blue’s real identity. The pressure of the whole blackmail situation definitely made the story more intense than if it were simply sort of a You’ve-Got-Mail-but-with-two-boys kind of story. Even with that complication, though, it’s still a pretty lighthearted story ultimately about first love and coming out.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Simon is gay. He learns one classmate is bisexual. He meets another who is Jewish. One of his close friends is black.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used frequently throughout the book.

Romance/Sexual Content
Simon’s pretty frank about his personal life. One scene shows him lying in bed fantasizing about the mysterious Blue while he masturbates. (He only really states that his hand is “busy” but we get the idea.) Another scene shows him lying in bed with another boy kissing. He mentions that both of them have erections. (They’re still fully clothed.)

Spiritual Content
None.

Violent Content
None.

Drug Content
Simon’s friends take him to a bar to eat, and a college student mistakes him for an older boy and buys him several drinks, which Simon eagerly drinks. He shows up home very drunk. His parents punish him by grounding him and taking away his phone.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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