- my rating: 5 stars
- published by: Balzer + Bray
- genres: ya, contemporary, lgbt+, romance
- diverse: yes
So, it’s Pride Month and I intend to read plenty of lgbt+ books in commemoration and the first on my list was Becky Albertalli’s debut novel – Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
This book is well loved and I cannot believe it took me so long to read it, there really is no excuse. But I finally started it … and then very quickly finished it. This book is everything it was hyped up to be, it actually surpassed my expectations and I’m kicking myself for not reading it earlier.
It’s like chicken soup for the soul
You know when you were kinda sick or not feeling good and your mum would make you chicken soup and it’d make you feel all warm and gooey inside? That’s what this book is like
It is incredibly cute, the main romance is so sweet and nice it really just makes you feel happy. Even though this book deals with some pretty serious themes and issues, the intermittent lighthearted banter between friends, the sweet dialogue and the fun Harry Potter references ever stopped it being happy.
This is a queer book where all the lgbt+ issues are brought up and discussed and there’s plenty of seriousness and it doesn’t skate over the awful things some lgbt+ teens are experiencing, but at the same time, it’s hopeful rather then bleak. That’s something I could really appreciate
This one’s for the queer teens
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda focusses so specifically on lgbt+ issues and I loved that. It truly brings up, in my opinion, some of the most relevant things about being a closeted gay teenager. From issues of coming out the closet to modern homophobia to heteronormative parenting and society. I truly think this book had it all.
It also focussed on allies and showed why allies are just as capable of being really problematic and making it hard for lgbt+ teenagers. I loved that we had a character who fell under the “I have a gay cousin/brother/uncle” banner, and I loved that it was shown that doesn’t mean diddly squat. You can still be a bad ally.
I think the issues centring out coming out the closet and what that experience means to gay teenagers was my favourite part of this book. Simon’s struggle and fears in telling others and his eventual forceful outing felt authentic and the emotions and hurdles Simon goes through really showed how traumatic dealing with being closeted can be for some people.
& other brilliance
Lgbt+ issues aside there is plenty more to like here. The characters are well written, diverse and realistic. Simon is a great sympathetic narrator, who’s inner monologue is never cheesy, cringeworthy or boring. He’s not the most perceptive character, but he’s fun and his emotions on the page are raw and honest. It is not hard to sympathise and agree with him on almost everything.
The side characters are a array of different types of people and I liked that everyone seemed unique and important. Each character, even the most minor, had the capacity to rise up and surprise you.
if you haven’t read this yet, you should
I know I am not the best advocate for reading Simon since I’ve done it TWO YEARS LATE, but I still am going to sit here and type out that you really really should read this.
Simon leaves you with a glowing feel on the inside, an inexplicable feeling that everything thats happening to you is going to turn out okay. It’s got good messages and themes and may well be educational to some people. It’s funny, it’s cute, it’s got Harry Potter references and a strong, healthy, cute, hopeful gay lead couple who will honestly make you day/week/year/life.
Five out of five stars for Simon, I’m sorry I ever doubted you Becky Albertalli.