Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

simon

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

By: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Coming of Age/LGBTQ

Expected Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Bang Bang Rating:bombbombbombbomb 1/4

“…people are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows.”

Overview

Simon isn’t quite out of the closet and neither is Blue, his anonymous email friend. When Martin accidentally sees Simon’s emails, Simon finds himself on the other side of blackmail and is forced to hook up Martin and his friend Abby.  

Dang, That Was Good

So this book has everything. Theater geeks, nerds, cute soccer boys, black people, Jewish people, and cool parents.

  • Characters. Simon is extremely likable and relatable.  I work with teens all day and Simon and his friends are pretty spot on. This isn’t one of those teens-don’t-talk-like-this books (ahem, ahem, I’ll Give You The Sun).  
    • Simon’s parents, particularly his dad, are hysterical.  They’re cool and a bit eccentric-they watch the Bachelorette as a family.
    • Simon’s friends include a sexy black girl, a non-conformist Jewish boy, and the typical eye-rolling shitty attitude girl.  They all have a purpose and they’re all great in their own way.
  • Themes-Friendship.  
    • The overall take-a-away I read was friendship.  Simon has a really strong relationship with his friends and they experience typical friendship woes.  For example Leah is secretly in love with Nick but Nick is in love with Abby and Leah sort of hates Abby and Simon sees Leah’s pain and tries to help without being nosy.  This is just one example of the typical teenage stuff they go through.  No one is being abused by their parents, no one is a major bitch, and no one takes drugs. They are just teens facing average teen problems.  I’m not saying that the above subjects don’t need to be addressed in books; I’m just saying that sometimes average teenage problems get overlooked in YA contemporary.
  • Not Typical LGBTQ. Honestly, this is the third LGBTQ novel I’ve read so I’m guessing here but this book didn’t focus on the bullying that accompanies coming out.  It was more about these boys’ experience with coming out to their parents, friends, and school.  There was some bullying but it wasn’t horrible. I liked that the focus was on the boys, their friends, and their relationship and not a no bullying campaign.  Once again, those stories are important by not everyone gets mercilessly bullying after coming out and it’s important to tell these stories too. 
  • I liked the different take on the storyline. It jumps right in with the blackmailing.  It could have easily been about two people who fall in love over email (ahem, ahem, You’ve Got Mail) but the blackmail added an interesting component.

That’s Too Bad, Dang.

  • I don’t want to spoil anything but the ending was a bit unrealistic for me.

Overall

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was a quick witty read with relatable teens and their relatable teen problems.  The writing was good but nothing new and I guessed who Blue was so there was no OMG moment for me. 

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