Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: 7th April 2015
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. -GR
I have been wanting to read this book forever. I remember when it first came out and everyone was talking about it, and I decided I would definitely completely totally read it. Fast forward two years – I’m a mess – and thanks to a push by the lovely Mariam , I finally picked it up.
My God, I loved it.
I hate the sun and heat, but I read this entire book in an entire day in full sun because I genuinely forgot where I was and the fact my skin was sizzling. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such a perfect book to inhale-read. It’s quite short but I think that even it was 500 pages, I would still be able to read it in one sitting because the writing is just so clever. I don’t mean clever in the sense of purple prose or complex metaphors, but it’s clever in how perfectly and easily it flows, and how I was able to completely lose myself in Becky’s writing to the point that I forgot I was physically reading a book. She has been bumped up to an auto-buy author for me now. I’m hooked.
This is a very character-driven book and thank the Lord because these characters were brilliant. Simon is right up there with my favourite characters of all time. I just have a thing for cinnamon rolls like Simon and his personality was so well done. I could see his motivations for everything he did, and nothing seemed unnecessarily out of character for him. I adore the journey he went on as a person and how he grew. I JUST WANT HIM TO BE HAPPY.
Apart from Simon, the side-characters were also great! They were such well-rounded individuals who held their own and stood separately from each other. They all have very different personalities and flaws, which made their dynamic so realistic. Prime example of this for me is the relationship between Abby and Leah. They are such different people with tensions between them because of that which is exactly what happens in life, and because of that, neither of them (I felt) were made to be ashamed or a victim to the other. I wish we had seen a little more of Leah but as Becky Albertalli has used Abby in The Upside of Unrequited, maybe we could see Leah make an appearance in other book???
I’m kind of hesitant to say this is mystery novel as I don’t want people going into the book wanting more from it than it offers, but I will say that I wish more mysteries were as unpredictable as this book. I didn’t find it exciting or thrilling figuring out the equivalent of the ‘whodunnit’ because I don’t think that was the intention, but I felt it could honestly have been ANY one of the characters that was Simon’s secret online love interest. There were times when it seemed to be going in the direction of one guy and I was thinking ‘nononononono’ and then others I was rooting for, and it was great. Who it actually turned out to be left me satisfied and I completely ship the two of them.
Also, Simon listens to Sufjan Stevens. Uh, yes. Y. E. S.
I don’t think I’d change a single thing about this book. I loved it so much and I know it will make its way to my top books of 2017.
I’m halfway through The Upside of Unrequited while I’m writing this and I’m really enjoying that too, so watch out for a review soon!
There is a warning for Simon’s sexuality being outed without his permission. If you’re sensitive to that, just bear it in mind 🙂
If you’ve read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, let me know what you thought and we can chat!