Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
Published: 7th April 2015
Straight people should have to come out too. And the more awkward it is, the better.
Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for.
But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.
Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal . . .
It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal.
I first came across this novel because it was developing a fair bit of hype across the Booktube community, and I added it to my wish list immediately. Particularly when I heard that this book was advertised as the love child of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. As you might already have gathered by now, they are two of my favourite authors. When I went shopping with Abbey in Waterstones, we both purchased this book and I chose to add it to my TBR pile for the #boutofbooks readathon.
Because I was reading this for a readathon, I got through this book rather quickly. However, I only steamed through this book because I really enjoyed it. We follow Simon Spear who has developed a relationship with a boy called Blue via email. However, one of those emails is stolen and his relationship and sexuality are threatened to be revealed before he’s ready.
I immediately was attracted to Simon, through the way his inner and outer dialogue was presented. This is absolutely where I spotted the style of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. Simon is a witty, quirky character with a little sass. I found him relatable and genuine, and he reminded me a lot of my friend Jared. I also took a liking to Blue, who spoke with Simon via email. He came across as sweet, and shy even in text. I could see why their relationship was budding, and I was really intrigued to see who the mystery boy would be. The writing style really draws you into the characters, and it’s written in a way that makes you feel like the characters are speaking directly to you, breaking the fourth wall if you will. As oppose to you reading and looking in through a window. It’s a very effective technique.
Saying all of that, it took me a while to see why this book had been building hype. I could see why people liked the book, the writing style was very well done but for me it was a slow burner. I could see that the book was gearing towards a big reveal, but the pace at first through me. We’re thrown straight into the action with this book, and within the first couple of pages the email has been stolen from Simon. However, the pace slows down somewhat so that the characters could be explored. I did like getting to know everyone but I was eager to see where the plot was going.
One thing I loved, and thought was quite clever, were the emails between Blue and Simon. These worked in many ways, not only in a contemporary sense – a lot of relationships in this generation are developed over social media or online messaging so this brought a sense of realism. They also were used as a tool to feed the reader some back story without boring them with flashbacks. It also adds to the point I mentioned earlier about being brought in, because the emails are intimate and precious to the characters – you feel connected to them more.
This ending to this book is absolutely wonderful, and I believe purely for that it deserves the hype that is building around it. When I finished it, I had a massive grin on my face. I appreciated that it was unpredictable. I’d really recommend this to anyone that is looking for a feel good, contemporary romance. I feel like my friend Jared would really connect with this one.
Absolutely recommend this book. Especially if you’re a fan of John Green and Rainbow Rowell.