WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.” ~ Becky Albertalli, Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
If there’s one book that I should have read a really long time ago but didn’t, that has to be Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
This book was literally all over the internet these past years and I being an active manifestation of the statement “There is no such thing as too many books!” did my part by dutifully ordering a copy of it.
However, the one thing that I am always guilty of is not reading the books that I diligently order every month. Well, the time was ripe and one fine day it dawned upon me to pick this book up which had been lying on my shelf for ages.
Words can’t express how guilty I am feeling about not reading this sooner for it is one of the simplest and most heartwarming books that I have read recently.
Read on to know more about my thoughts on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, a book that I would sincerely recommend to all my readers.
What to expect?
When you pick up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, expect a simple yet captivating young adult read about a sixteen-year-old coming-of-age gay from Georgia, America who is yet to come out to his friends and family.
The struggles of coming out that he faces are legit and the book is very articulate in expressing the dilemmas of his mind.
In addition to that, expect a simple but interesting story of first loves, childhood friendship and ever-changing group dynamics in an American high school.
Who can read?
The book is written in an easy to understand language. The narration is fast paced, suspense laced and flowy. The characters soon establish an easy camaraderie with the reader.
Looking at all these parameters, it will be safe to say that the book can easily be picked up by beginner level readers who are looking for an easy and light entertainer.
Let’s talk about the storyline
Simon Spier, a sixteen-year-old gay is a high school student at Creekwood High. The fact that he goes to school in Georgia makes it just a tad bit difficult for him to come out.
The truth is – he isn’t ready yet and he has no answer to the question if he will ever be?
Just when Simon thought that high school couldn’t get worse, a sneaky classmate called Martin uncovers his secret. Martin needs Simon to do him a favour and if Simon fails, Martin is hoping to go public with Simon’s secret.
What is worse is that Martin also knows about Blue, a guy that Simon has been secretly emailing and is now slowly and steadily falling in love with.
As Simon is caught in this whirlwind of events, life at high school is moving at its own chaotic pace. And now, Simon doesn’t have much time to leave things to chance and must decide sooner or later.
What about the writing style?
Becky Albertalli’s characters are her strongest point.
Unfortunately, the first book that I read by her wasn’t Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda but her second novel, The Upside of Unrequited which, much to my chagrin, turned out to be a disappointing read.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, however, is a different story altogether. There is a kind of empathy and awesomeness in her writing that is difficult to miss.
Her portrayal of Simon’s struggles with coming out is just amazing. Her grip of family and group dynamics is also worth appreciating as Becky does a wonderful job of capturing the unique relationship that Simon shares with his friends and family.
How good are the characters?
Simon Spier is the most unassuming and unpretentious character that I have come across in a really long time. He is honest, sincere, affectionate and just adorable.
The fact that he is still coming to terms with who he is and is kind of nervous about coming out is a struggle that is very aptly portrayed by his character.
There is simply no way a reader can stay immune to the charms of Simon for he is certainly the best.
As far as other characters are concerned, I like all of them. There is Blue who is the mysterious yet friendly stranger whom Simon can’t help falling in love with.
Then there is the fiercely independent Abby, the quirky Leah, the suave Nick and because we always need a villain – the mildly obnoxious yet funny Martin.
Thus, as far as characters are concerned, this book has an excellent bunch because all of them manage to leave a mark on the reader’s mind.
Is the climax good enough?
The climax of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is bitter sweet. Bitter because it tells you that the book is about to end and sweet because, well, it is a good climax which gives a befitting end to the story of Simon.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
This book has the power to get its reader hooked on right from the very beginning. There is an air of pleasant anticipation throughout the book that is difficult to miss.
A flowy writing style, some of the most awesome characters, a simple language, a mildly intriguing puzzle, and some epic point of views make this book a compelling read. It is an unskippable read if you ask me!
Pick up the book if
- You enjoy simple and honest stories.
- You love young adult fiction.
- You are looking for an award-winning YA novel.
- You are looking for an easy and interesting read.
- You are looking for a book-to-movie adaptation read.
- You want to read a really awesome LGBTQ read.
Skip the book if
- You don’t like young adult fiction.
- You don’t like simple reads with teenagers as the protagonist.
- You are looking for fiction.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda using the link below.