Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simonvs

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.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda melted the icy cynicism encasing my heart and transformed it into a fluffy cloud that sprouts rainbows and unicorns and oreos. (Rainbow unicorn oreos. Or oreo unicorn rainbows?)

First and foremost, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda does not have a plot, or at least isn’t a very plot-driven book. However, I can assure you that it’s okay! The story follows Simon’s life, examining his high school life, his family life, his friendships, his identity, and his own unique story of coming out. The story may be mundane in that way, but the simplicity of the narrative is the perfect way to portray characters who are gay: that gay people have friends and family, worry about the same things, love the same things, and fall in love the same way.

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.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is sweet, funny, and utterly adorable, just like its lovely characters. The eponymous protagonist is particularly so, especially when he makes mistakes, fumbles through life in his own endearing way, and when he is doing the absolute best he can. Part of the story is centred on Simon’s budding crush on the mysterious Blue, with whom he converses through email. Their relationship may be different, but the learning and intimacy from the inside to out was sweet and sincere. On top of it, there are some small gems about sexual identity, the impact of norms, and how we present ourselves to others and society – and how sometimes that can be different to how we truly feel inside.

So here is the reason why I really enjoyed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: the story and everything in it felt genuine. It may have been fluffy but it was fluffy with a heart and soul, and that feeling shines through with Albertalli’s earnest and lovely writing. Reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda reminded me of what my friends and I were like when I was in high school – talking in references of the things we loved, feeling like misfits but feeling like misfits together, and the occasional brush of conflict that was eventually followed by forgiveness and laughter (even if it was a little strained). It reminded me of adolescence, of being brave, learning about yourself, those vulnerable but significant moments that changed our lives and the relationships we share with others, and finding joy. Despite the difference in era, I related to Simon and his friends’ experiences.

“What’s a dementor?”
I mean, I can’t even. “Nora, you are no longer my sister.”
“So it’s some Harry Potter thing,” she says.

As I write this review in hindsight, I think I can confidently attribute my newfound appreciation for fluffy, cutesy romances to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. With the right dose of everything, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a simple and sweet story that looks into a small but significant chapter of Simon’s life. A thoroughly pleasant and lighthearted read – with the right hint of silly – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda will warm (and melt!) your heart.

Rating: 4/5

Book Information
Book Name: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: eBook

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in:
Goodreads | Book Depository | FoylesMy review on Goodreads


Hi friends! I am so happy that I loved this book. I had my doubts but they were immediately dispelled by this earnest book and the writing. *happy sigh*

  • Have you read Simon Vs? Did you enjoy it?
  • Do you think rainbow oreos should be a thing? (I want it to be a thing!)
  • Did this book remind you of your youth?
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45 thoughts on “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

  1. Lovely in-depth review! Really glad you enjoyed this! There were so many endearing and funny quotes as well! Its nice to read about a fictional character who’s a Harry Potter nerd too :)

  2. Your beautiful artwork, I still can’t get over the rainbow Oreos. I want to reach through the screen and eat them haha! I am glad you enjoyed this book, I love the feel-good vibes and all the precious cinnamon rolls in this book. I prefer my book with a bit more angst and plot, but I still found this one lovely, especially as the characters are very realistic and relatable!! Beautiful review <3

    • WAAH thank you so much Aentee!! ❤ HAHA they should totes be a thing?! Why didn’t anyone think about it before. :|

      I enjoyed this book so much! And YES everyone is so precious and I love them – esp Blue. I think I was screaming when his identity was revealed. X’D

  3. Great review!! As someone who has not read a lot YA centering on queer characters, this books did wonders for me, allowing me to explore this space. Albertalli is a brilliant writer, as you say, and really touches on the nuance of Simon’s life. Also, beautiful artwork! I love the rainbow oreos!!

  4. Loved this review! This book sounds great, and you did a great job of incorporating your thoughts into it as well :) I feel like it’s often very difficult to get away with simple plot lines, and it is necessary to have good character to character interaction to make up for it. This is a book that I wish to read in the near future!
    I stumbled upon your blog through twitter (which I just started using today!) I’m very glad I did, and can’t wait to see your future posts :)
    Grace from kimmiegg.wordpress.com

    • Hi Grace!
      Thank you so much! Yes, Simon Vs is a delightfully simple book but very very lovely all the way through. I hope you can read this soon – and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it!

      Oh, thank you! Your blog is gorgeous; thank you for reaching out. <3

  5. Aw, I’m so glad you liked reading this! I’ve honestly heard so many good things about this – I borrowed it out once – but I’ve never gotten around to reading it?? I’m guessing I really need to put this up on my priority list, right?? :P

  6. Great review, CW! I completely agree that the plot wasn’t super dramatic or anything – it was just a subtle, very slice-of-lifey glimpse into his daily life… but I really enjoyed it.

    That dementor quote also happens to be my favourite of the whole book, I think. Definitely a feel-good story! <3

    • Thank you Reg!! Yes agreed – and I really enjoy slice of life so this book suited me just fine. I can’t wait til Albertalli’s next book. If it’s anything like Simon Vs, I’m going to love it. ;_;

  7. I loved this books to pieces! The only thing I didn’t like was the part where Simon expressed that is was “easier” to come out for girls. I found that a bit ignorant and far from the truth. But the rest was fluffy goodness and I can’t wait to see what else this author has in store for us.

  8. Aww, reading your review gave me all the feels again. Simon is just too adorable. And I have to agree, not much is complex about the storyline but the characters (mainly Simon) possess a lot more depth than I anticipated. Not to mention the motifs on identity were tackled so perfectly. Also, I love that ending quote. Oh, Simon, he’s such a HP fanboy. >.< Lovely review, Chooi! ^.^

    • Isn’t Simon just the best?! I was worried I wouldn’t like him but GAH he’s just so sincere and I just love that about him. I really liked his friendships too! Esp the conflict; I thought that was really simple but… meaningful.

      HEHE I love it too! I just had to include it.
      Thank you Summer!! <3

  9. This was such a lovely review, and I can relate to everything you’ve just written. I really enjoyed this book, and despite the lack of plot, it was still great to follow Simon’s journey, his daily life and friendships and love growing. Plus, I LOVED his parents and his whole family. I felt like this book was so relatable, even if my high school days are long over by now ahah :)

    • Thank you Marie!! I’m glad you enjoyed this too. c:

      Me too! I loved the small simple things and following his everyday life. I love his family; they’re so sweet and a little weird, but mostly awesome.

      Oh girl, I know the feeling! My high school days are long over too but this just brought back so many memories. <3

  10. A fluffy book with a lot of heart and soul, sign me up. I keep hearing so many amazing things about this book and I definitely feel like I need to pick it up. I think there’s a beauty in the simplicity of things and exploring the mundane aspects of life whilst discovering yourself is a great way of developing a connection to the characters and catch a glimps of these day to day challenges and how different people react to these situations. :D

    • You must! I have to admit, I was very VERY hesitant to pick it up because of the hype and because, well, I didn’t want to be the person who would dislike a cute romance such as this. BUT, it just wraps you in a cocoon of blankets and happiness and rainbows.

      And yes, absolutely agree! I appreciate books that are fantastical and grand, but I also like books that return to the appreciation of mundane and simplicity. And I think Simon Vs does it very well!

      I REALLY hope you enjoy it when you read it!! Let me know your thoughts if you read it?

  11. I completely agree 100%. This was such a cute and light read and I am so glad that you liked it as much as I did. :) Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  12. I read this and I loved it so so so much.The way you described it as ‘fluffy with a heart and soul’ (or something) was PERFECT. Just yes yes yes x1000 , Anyway, I’m really glad you liked it too. Contemporary fluffy romance is the best when you’re stressed or not in the mood for a major commitment to some epic fantasy. :D

  13. OOOO I’M SO GLAD YOU THOUGHT IT WAS FLUFFY AND CUTE AND ADORABLE BECAUSE YES.
    Also OF COURSE RAINBOW OREOS SHOULD BE A THING. AS SHOULD RAINBOW OREO UNICORNS. YES.
    -Amy
    SORRY NOT SORRY FOR MY WEIRDNESS.

  14. I added this book to my TBR list for Aentee’s #ReadThemAllThon (are you participating by the way?) and reading your review (which is so articulate! You have a magic with words girl) makes me feel like I made the right decision. I am not a huge fan of fluff, but it all depends on the writing really. And like you said, this book is genuine, and that’s one of the things that makes a book join my list of favorites–if it feels real and true, I am going to give it good ratings.

    What do you think of character-driven books in general? I personally prefer them for the sociology genres but I recently read Fangirl which was completely character-driven and I really liked it. The only problem I had with Fangirl was that there were several unnecessary parts. I am hoping that I will love Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda more, because I haven’t read a good book featuring an LGBT character in a long while.

    • AW you’re so lovely, thank you. ;_;
      I’m not a big fan of fluff too, but. This book changed me! It made me appreciate it more – and I like that it celebrates the small happy things in our lives, and that they are important.

      I love character-driven novels! They’re usually my favourite; I love joining the author in their analyses (if that makes sense). I also like very strong thematic ones too!

      I haven’t read Fangirl, but I’ve heard good things about it. Would you recommend it anyway? :D

      • Yes I would recommend it but not very strongly because there are several parts that were plain pointless and at certain points the writer just stretched the story for no reason at all. Save it for a rainy day I say

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