I picked up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda after nearly all my friends had read it and said how awesome it was. And they were right.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda throws us into the relatively normal life of Simon Spier. Simon loves Oreos, listening to Elliot Smith, making references to Harry Potter… and boys. But not everyone knows about that last part. Simon is sixteen years old and gay, and the only person who knows is Blue. Blue is the pseudonym of a boy – a smart, Half-Jewish grammar nerd – from school who Simon has been chatting to via email. Simon doesn’t even know if he has met him and yet he feels like he can be himself around Blue more than anyone else… and Simon finds himself falling for him. Problem is, what can he do about it when Blue could be walking past him every day without knowing?
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an adorable contemporary romance, with many ‘squee’ moments. I loved reading Simon and Blue’s email exchange and seeing them become more honest about how they feel for each other as they revealed more and more, even without technically knowing the other’s real identity (“The closest thing I’ve ever had to a journal is probably you”). It reminded me of when I was a teenager and the friendships that formed through now-defunct instant messaging. I used to type and type and type, and I’m still friends with some of those people years later. But Simon’s in trouble. A classmate has discovered his emails and is threatening to post them on the school Tumblr unless Simon sets him up with one of his best friends, Abby. And he’s trying to deal with his other best friends Nick and Leah at the same time – how is he going to come out to people who have known him his whole life?
I adored Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda not because of the mystery surrounding Blue – although I was keen to find out who he really was (and I didn’t guess!) – but because there’s no major twists. No major drama, adventure or death. It’s simply about Simon growing up and navigating the world of school, family, friends – and himself. Simon isn’t a wholly likeable character, if I’m being completely honest. As we’re constantly in his head, we see the judgements he makes about people all the while worrying about being judged himself. But that’s because he’s an authentic character struggling to make sense of himself as much as he is everyone else. I also enjoyed seeing something rare in YA: a brilliant relationship between a teenager and his parents.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a majorly cute LGBT romance with awesome friends, many adorable moments, and a lot of laughs.
Published: 7th April 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books (UK) Balzer + Bray (US)
Source: Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!