Look! I finally got around to reading this book! (Mainly because the author was touring near me for the Epic Reads Spring Tour.) I kind of wish I had read it sooner because this book is completely adorable!
Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood #1)
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Length: 303 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”
“Why is straight the default?”
I wish I had read this book sooner. I continued to hear amazing things about this book, and I planned to read this before the movie released (which I still haven’t seen) but then… *looks at TBR pile* *gulps, tugging on shirt collar* Right. Well, you know things go… I finally finished reading this book just a few days before the author, Becky Albertalli, made an appearance in a bookstore near me for the Epic Reads Spring Tour, along with Julie Murphy and Katie Cotugno. Simon was incredibly heart-warming, gut-wrenching, and the ending was absolutely perfect, too.
I cannot speak for the LGBTQIA+ rep in this book, so please read (or don’t read, whatever) this review with that in mind. I’m the very bland, ever dull cis heterosexual. Despite that, if your heart didn’t twist at all with what Simon is going through, keeping this essential part of himself to himself or risk exposure in the worst way…I don’t know if we can be friends. I’ve never had to make myself be open and vulnerable in the way Simon did.
I found the emails between him and Blue to be completely adorable, too. I imagine most of us can relate to finding it easier to talk to someone through a screen than face-to-face, so the readers were able to see a side of Simon he couldn’t show his family and closest friends.
Speaking of friends, I genuinely liked most of them. Well, except for Martin and maybe even Leah at certain points. She gave off this stand-offish vibe that I simply wasn’t feeling. I’m eager to discover more about her in Leah on the Offbeat and what makes her tick. I could definitely sense a lot of tension between her, Nick, and even Abby at some points, though I think the latter two were rather oblivious to it.
The writing style is really simple and straight forward in this book. The plot- and character-driven scenes balanced nicely, flowing together until we reached the end and finally found out who Blue was. 🙂 It was nice, and I’m glad Simon was able to “come out” even though it wasn’t in the way he wanted to. I like how accepting his friends and family were, too, as a lot of people don’t get that luxury.