Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
Published: April 7th 2015
by Bazler + Bray




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. 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.


Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever.

I didn’t quite like it as much as most other bloggers seemed to, for reasons I can’t exactly pinpoint, yet I can still completely see why this is such a loved and hyped novel. It has everything avid YA readers have been looking for – diversity, realistic and loveable characters, witty and humorous dialogue – and maybe even more than that.

Simon Spier is your average high school junior – except for the fact that he’s secretly gay. But his secret might not stay hidden for long: class clown Martin has discovered it, and unless Simon plays wingman for him, he’ll expose it to the whole school!

Becky Albertalli is a former psychologist, and it shows because Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of the most amusing and realistic portrayals of everyday teenage life that I’ve come across. The thought process and the attitude of the characters here is spot on and completely authentic. Each of her characters – even the supporting ones – have realistic and well-defined personalities.

Of course, the hero is the story is Simon, and he’s wonderful. His narrative rings with authenticity, humor and sarcasm, and I loved it.

One of the highlights of the story is the romance. Simon is emailing a boy only referred to as “Blue,” and they are beginning to fall in love. The slow burn and sweet nature of their relationship was so wonderful to read about, and trying to decipher Blue’s true identity will keep you on your toes.

With wonderful messages about diversity, friendship, family, and romance, this is a strong breakthrough into the YA genre on Becky Allbertalli’s part. I’d recommend it highly – especially to fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.


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