22754644Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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.– Goodreads

Review:

There are very few people who’s book taste I trust because they know what is an “ASHLEY BOOK!” My friend Jen is one of those people, who have A+ tastes (besides her love of me obviously), so when she loved this book, I knew I had to read it. And I did not disappoint. I was on vacation recently and during a torrential downpour in which we stayed inside for pretty much 24 hours straight, I devoured this book. As soon as I started I was drawn into Simon’s story. I wanted more. Heck, I still want more.

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda starts off on a sour note; Simon is being blackmailed by a classmate named Martin. While Simon is gay, and he doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it, Martin does. Martin wants to black Simon into helping Martin getting a date, with one of Simon’s friends who has no idea that Simon happens to be gay.

Simon doesn’t care that he’s gay, he knows his family and friends who care that he’s gay, but what he doesn’t understand is why he must come out and announce it. None of his straight friends come out with “HEY GUYS! I’M STRAIGHT!”

As a side note, don’t you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying. —50%, eARC

What I loved about this book, and I loved a lot of things, was the fact at its heart this is a story about friendship. The friendship between Simon and Blue (who’s privacy he is fiercely protective of), his friendship with his family (who are a bit weird, but they’re his weird), and his group of friends who are changing (because it’s high school and everything is changing.) Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda hurt, but it hurt to read in a good way. This is easily a universal story which everyone will be able to seem themselves in, even those parts that hurt.

I didn’t know it was possible to laugh so hard at a book and debate crying as often as I did. Please note the only reason I didn’t cry was because I was surrounded by dogs who already tried to tackle me when I made a single noise. While I got a copy of this from my public library, I cannot wait to purchase a copy for myself.