Friday, 8 May 2015

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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.

This book is one of my new favourites, not just because the importance and diversity of the story, but also the hilarious characters. It was so very funny and awkward and romantic; literally I spent half the time crying, the other half laughing. 

So, Simon is gay and no one except a stranger on the internet knows. The whole arc of the story was about Simon coming out and accepting who is he; it also had a really in depth look at what it means and who it affects to come out, in terms of family and friends, and the person's self-esteem. The narrative is split between the main story, told from Simon's perspective, and Simon and Blue's emails, as they get closer - very sweet and personal way of getting to know them both. 

Along with the whole 'being who you truly are', the book also deals with emotional blackmail, a little bullying and the heartless nature of outing. Simon wasn't a great hero, just a normal guy and I think that was very important in how he handled things, i.e. not great. He was absolutely adorable and funny and nice but also protective and daft and fairly secretive. I think the big difference with this book was that Simon was ok with being gay, it was the reaction from his friends and family that worried him. Luckily, they know him so well, they practically already knew but it was nice that he had that support system. 

As I said, a new favourite of mine. It was romantic, heart-felt, hilarious and so very important to show a different sort of love story. 

Published 7th April 2015 by Penguin. 

1 comment: