Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Release Date: April 2015
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ .5
Plot: 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.
After the life ruining story that was Valentina, I decided I needed some cute contemporary. I’d already sunk my teeth into the final chapter in Stephanie Perkins’ teen romance, but I realised I needed something quite different from the norm.
I love LGBT novels or, any novels with actual LGBT characters in them. I get extremely excited when said character is the main character, and so picture my face when I got my hands on Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda.
All I knew about this book before going in was cute and funny, and it didn’t live down that reputation. Along with a diverse cast of characters and bittersweet romances, Simon as a main character was very self aware and hilarious. I loved the back and forth he had with his friends, and I especially loved the emails between him and love interest Blue, a boy from his school with an identity unknown.
The only reason I took away half a star from the rating was because of the plot. While everything was cute and fun, it was all a bit…mild. I really don’t like that word, because apart from a chicken korma, what can you name that is mild but also great? Things happen in this book, of course, but a lot of it seemed to be perfectly pleasant and OK. I feel that, if this story was even a little bit milder, there’d be no story at all. People were too lovely and didn’t leave much of an impression, and the dog was the most excitable of the bunch.
LGBT books are still scarce. I often struggle with finding one’s to read, especially since I have a growing boredom of straight romances. But I’m definitely glad I read this book; not every LGBT story has to be about awfulness, about homophobia and bullying and hiding that part of yourself away. Gay kids fall in love and have cute romance stories just like those sickeningly sweet ones written by so many in the market today. It was lovely to see that played out here.