Monday, April 27, 2015

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Narrator(s): Michael Crouch
Series: stand-alone
Length: 6 hrs 45 mins
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Source: received from publisher via Edelweiss, borrowed audiobook from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

I'll admit it: I didn't think this book could be as adorable as everyone was saying. There was just no way it could be that cute and funny while also dealing with a tough subject like this. But it was and it did…and in a way that felt genuine and realistic.

As is often the case, I had a review copy but never found the time to get to it, so I opted for an audiobook version from my library. Waiting to listen to this book instead of reading the copy I had was probably the best decision because the narrator totally sounds like Jesse Eisenberg, and I think I loved the story even more because of that. Because I could totally see him playing a character like Simon, so articulate and slightly awkward and completely adorable. I think the narration made this novel even more fun, if that's possible.

I loved their grammatically correct email correspondence between Simon and "Blue", getting to know each of them as they were getting to know each other over the course of months. It was so sweet to see them falling for each other, and yet each scared of fully investing themselves in this thing that was developing between them. Despite that, I was glad to see that they'd forged a friendship first, even if they were hesitant to name what they were becoming to each other and where that might lead.

This story was just so touching and thoughtful, even if the matter at hand was delicate and a little scary. I think the author did a fabulous job of portraying how difficult coming out is and how many relationships can be affected by doing so. I have someone in my life who has still not come out to his family and friends, despite all evidence pointing to it, but I get it, and I'll still love him either way. And I understood Simon's decision to wait until he was ready, even if others decided to make that decision for him.

The blackmail aspect left me more than slightly angry, especially since the kid doing the blackmailing could have been a nice guy and someone Simon might have been friends with, if not for the situation he'd forced Simon into. But taking that decision away from Simon was wrong in the worst possible way. His owning up to it and apologizing later in the story abated my anger somewhat, but the damage was done.

It's lucky for that kid that Simon had such awesome friends and family surrounding him. They didn't exactly make coming out easy, but they were there to support him. I actually really appreciated all of the relationships in this book, familial and otherwise. They were realistic, full of drama and genuine love, and they were honest. They were messy and complicated, just like in real life, and I loved them for it.

Honestly, I loved everything about this story. It was witty and adorkable and everything I'd already been told it was. I can't imagine that anyone with a heart could do anything but love this story. I can't believe this is the author's debut. May everything else she writes be as obscenely adorable as this.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Becky Albertalli currently lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband and two sons. She spends her days writing about teenagers and reading board books about trucks. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who got to work with the most amazing kids, teenagers, and adults. She is not currently practicing as a psychologist.

Find Becky:

Website | TwitterGoodreads | Tumblr | Instagram


  1. I finished this book this past weekend, and I swear I feel the same as your GIF. Lol. Love this book!

  2. I 1000% agree (especially with that gif!). I didn't expect it to be as adorable and heartwarming as it was either, but everyone was not wrong. I think Becky did a brilliant job of balancing a heavy subject with lighthearted fun. Those are the contemporary romances that I love. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally


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