Content/Trigger Warnings: Homophobia, public/online outing, bullying
“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”
Sixteen-year-old Simon Spier has it all; a loving family, great friends to spend time with, and a part in the school’s musical. There’s just one thing, he’s no so openly gay. When his emails with the mysterious gay boy from school, Blue, fall into the wrong hands, Simon’s world is suddenly flipped upside down. Now Simon is forced into the role of being the wingman for his blackmailer, Martin. With the energies between his friends already skating on thin ice and the emails with Blue turning more flirtatious by the day, Simon’s junior year has become one giant complication.
I loved this book! I already broke the biggest rule as a reader; ‘Don’t watch the movie before reading the book‘, but I honestly couldn’t help myself. Besides, the book and the movie were both beautifully done! And I’m so in love with both of them that I just can’t get over how great they both are! But after all this time, I finally read this book and I’ve fallen in love with these characters all over again.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is about a boy named Simon Spier who ends up getting his world turned upside down. After his private emails with the mysterious Blue fall into the wrong hands, Simon is suddenly forced into positions he would never put himself in. Now he’s risking it all to prevent the truth being made public to the world and to protect Blue’s privacy. Now Simon has to navigate everything without alienating his best friends, compromising himself, or missing a shot a true happiness with the most precious human being he’s never met before.
“The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat — soft and persistent, underlying everything.”
This book has been a serious breath of fresh air breathing life back into me and it was such a nice change of pace! When all my friends were telling me “Malli, you’re going to love this book! It’s going to knock the wind out of you and take you on a romantic, wild ride,” I thought everyone was exaggerating. Clearly I was wrong, I adored this book! This book as a whole was like having your cake and eating it too!It put the biggest smile on my face and even now I can’t stop smiling.
The romance blooming between Simon and Blue was like a roller coaster ride. It starts off slow and building things up, but then you hit the drop and it just takes off with flying colors! Even though we have no idea who Blue is, he easily became one of my favorite characters. Just the way Blue is portrayed is very smooth, but in a really adorable way. And as these two wonderful characters email each other, we don’t just learn bits of Blue, but we also see another side to Simon, we learn more about him. Just those emails alone, we get so much information and I loved every second of it. I wish we had more of the emails because they were like little treasured hidden among the chaos. When we finally find out who Blue is, even before I watched the movie, I was surprised both times. I swoon every time!
As for the friendships and family, well, I ADORED Abby! She was hands down my favorite friend out of all the friends Simon had. She stepped up to the bat so many times and all I remember was saying “Damn, Abby is about to knock someone out!” She was such a positive force and even though she’s a fictional character, her energy in this book radiates like the sun. Aside from Abby, I definitely had a lot of issues with Leah. I can understand why she feels the way she does (everyone gets like that sometimes), but her actions and how she goes about saying things (all the time!), I wish she had been challenged more with her attitude and behavior. I almost wish Leah hadn’t been a character in this book. As whole, I think the friendships felt very real and even though we have this close-nit group of friends, we still see them argue and face challenges with one another. This goes the same for Simon’s family. I loved the dynamic of Simon’s family. I really loved the way Simon and his sisters are so close, but he’s also close with his parents. I really liked how we got to see them be overly nosy about things, a little on the crazy side, but they felt so real, like a true healthy family dynamic. I even liked the way Blue talked about his family and how they celebrate the holidays. It touched close to home and landed on a warm, soft spot in my heart.
And of course, I can’t finish this review without talking about the core of this book. Those hard hitting topics of some pretty hard subjects to talk about. We have a long list of blackmailing, bullying, homophobia, and above all else, the difficulties in trying to find and express our own identities. For some readers, they may not find it relatable or may seem unsure of what to think. So let me get a little personal and be the first to say that this… THIS is a lot of what I experienced and went through in high school. I can openly say, the way Albertalli handled certain things, not making them dismissed or fully treated, it’s very accurate to a lot of the things I have personally experienced. Yes, Albertalli could have dove more into those issues, but if her goal was to create a light and fluffy contemporary romance instead of diving too deeply into the darkness of those hard subjects then she accomplished that (and did it very well, might I add!). But there are some heartbreaking moments, moments where you may cry (like I did) and moments where your heart will ache for these characters. It’s all beautifully written, flawed, but sincere in a way that makes you love it all the more.
“He tells me to pick the music. I’m not sure if he knows that handing me his iPod is like handing me the window to his soul.”
Overall, I don’t think I could love this book even more. I loved the movie and I loved the book. I read this book all in one sitting and if that doesn’t say something about this book then I don’t know what does! This was the five star book that I’ve been aching for and this book delivered so much for me. I hope the day never comes where I stop loving this book or these characters. If you’re looking for a book that sweet, fluffy, but flawed and sincere, then this is the book for you and you should pick it up immediately!