Saturday, 7 April 2018

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 303
Source: Personal Copy
Publisher: Penguin Random House
First Published: April 7, 2015
First Line: "It's a weirdly subtle conversation".

Book Description from GoodReadsSixteen-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.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: Admittedly, I'm a little late to the Simon party but better late than never. This is a coming of age story about Simon, a sweet, regular teenager (with a strong Oreo addiction) who happens to be gay. It's just that no one else knows he's gay. When someone threatens to reveal his sexual identity, readers witness his struggle which is poignant and helps solidify the connection between Simon and the reader.  

Simon is an endearing character who is a little awkward, funny and has a great support system. The camaraderie Simon has with his friends is enviable and their reactions to the crappy stuff that life throws at them were believable. He also has a good relationship with his family and I appreciate that Albertalli doesn't relegate parents to the fringes of the story.  As a mom of three teens, I connected with Simon's mom and the changing bond between parents and their almost-adult kids. It's an awkward time for everyone and Albertalli gets that.

She also gives readers food for thought and I think the idea of heterosexuality not being the default or assumed identity for everyone is an important point and would make for great discussion. But, at the heart of the book is a sweet romance that I got all gushy over. So much gush. And, while I enjoyed piecing together the mystery surrounding the identity of Simon's on-line crush, it was Simon's metamorphosis as he figured out who his is, and who he wants to be, that kept me reading. 

This is a coming-of-age story about courage and the excitement and beauty of first love. It has a wonderfully diverse cast; it is funny, heart-warming and relevant. If you love Oreos, sweet romances, witty email banter, likable characters and a story that will make you sigh at the end, then this is the book for you.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails