Reviewed on 16th January 2019

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Genre: Fiction / Young Adult
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli Synopsis

‘Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he is looking for.
But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.
Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal…..
It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal’.

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli Review

An exploration of teens dealing with sexuality and coming out.

For a long while I had been wanting to expand my horizons and find a good LGBT book that really captured my attention, something fun but at the same time educational. A tall order I thought and because of this thought, I was extremely skeptical when Simon Vs was recommended to me.

‘Straight people should have to come out too. And the more awkward it is the better’. – Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

I am ashamed to admit that I thought the novel would be a little bit ‘high school’ (not that I have anything against that! I just wasn’t in the mood for it) and that it would gloss over some of the real issues I wanted to know more about like the troubles teens face when coming out and coming to terms with their sexuality. I am very happy to say that the book proved me wrong.

From turning and reading the first page I was immediately pulled in and invested in Simon’s story and falling in love with his character. He seemed to clueless and vulnerable and yet at the same time he was hilarious. Here he was trying to go through all these problems – being blackmailed, falling in love with a stranger through emails and how to tell his friends and family he’s gay and here I was cheering him on and realising for the first time that maybe some of my own gay friends had made coming out seem a lot easier than it was.

Albertalli has written a novel that managed to give me an insight into someone else’s head and life. I laughed and in some cases shouted at his thoughts and decisions, but each decision he made taught me a lesson of my own.

Albertalli managed to craft a novel that made me stop and think about my own thoughts and decisions. She made me ask myself if maybe I needed to be more supportive to my friends and others when they are going through similar situations to those explored in the book.

Once I had turned the final page and had a chance to reflect, it wasn’t long before I realised Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book that may have made me a better person having read it.

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Becky Albertalli showed me that in actual fact I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about gay issues. It’s important that we all know the value of a strong support group, and it’s important that even when we think we know a lot about a subject we learn that there is always more to be explored.

The book wasn’t just about sexuality and that’s what made it even more appealing to me. The book was multi-layered and gave me insights into navigating high school, how to deal with being bullied and how to be comfortable in your own skin. Something that to this day I still struggle with. As someone who has been bullied themselves it was interesting to see how it was dealt with here and how people and schools are having to change with the times and become even more sensitive to the issues young adults are facing in an ever-changing social media focused world.

Overall, if you want a book that makes you smile – warms your heart and educates you at the same time as this one did for me then I seriously would consider picking this up.

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda Published by: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 978-006234-868-5

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