Book Talk: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Book Talk: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer & Bray on April 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: Done Dirt Cheap, The Upside of Unrequited
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1

Sixteen year old Simon is gay and hasn’t yet come out — until a classmate finds an email of his to Blue, a boy he likes and has been writing back and forth to anonymously from his school who might just like him too, and threatens to out him unless he helps him get a girl that Simon is friends with. Not wanting to screw up things with Blue or let someone else tell everyone that he’s gay, he goes along with it all while trying to navigate this growing relationship with Blue and shifting dynamics amongst his closest group of friends.

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a4It’s no secret I gave a little preview telling you all that Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was one of my favorite books I read last year. I’m so excited to tell you WHY I loved it so much!

1. It made me so INDESCRIBABLY HAPPY. If you know me you know that more often than not I don’t read SUPER happy books. I always seem to be drawn to the books that break me, destroy my life, elicit intense feelings or that tackle tough topics. But Simon made me realize how wonderful it IS to read a book that makes you feel giddy and slaps a goofy grin on your face. How FEELSY it can be. How warm and fuzzy feelings can be just as intense and legit as stab-your-heart-fifty-times type books can be.  Reading Simon was like hot cocoa w/ fluffy marshmallows and warm cookies on a cold day. It just completely warmed my heart from the inside out. AND I REALLY LIKED THAT FEEL. What a high pure happiness can be!

2. I loved the romance: Simon and Blue have been talking anonymously through emails — all they know is that the other person goes to their school and they both are gay but not out yet. I love how they get to know each other through the emails and talk about anything and everything and they leave out all the main details that would give them away (friends, classes, extra-curriculars etc). The suspense for WHO Blue is was definitely there and I became on high alert with every interaction. ARE YOU BLUE? ARE YOU? I loved how they wrestled with how they would go about finally meeting because it would change things and because neither of them were out yet. There was a certain comfort to their relationship as it was but they were definitely falling for each other in a deeper way. Their exchanges made me have a goofy grin on my face. What a sweet, sweet romance! AND HOW THEY FINALLY MEET/THE BIG REVEAL? The most swoony thing ever and I reread it like 5 times.

3. The blackmail storyline was really interesting: Simon isn’t ready to come out quite yet but he also doesn’t look at it as such a big deal. BUT when he gets blackmailed by a opportunistic classmate who threatens to expose it that definitely concerns him because he knows what he and Blue has is fragile and it could mess that up. I liked watching him wrestle with it all — not wanting to give in because it’s HIS thing to tell, not wanting to betray a friend who this classmate wants to get closer to and wanting to preserve what he and Blue have. I think the particular classmate who does the blackmailing is interesting himself — you just want to punch him for being a shithead but also you see him as a PERSON.

 4. THE FRIENDSHIPS: This book had such a great example of a realistic friendship group with all the ebbs and flows they tend to endure — probably one of the best I’ve ever read. I loved the dynamic of the group and seeing how it has been shifting and changing as newcomers were introduced (and how threatening that can be), how crushes within a group impact it, how to handle all the growing and changing even among the “core” members of the friend group who have known each other for years and years. All the nuances of friend groups and long-time friendships vs. new ones were just perfectly done.  I loved Simon’s friend group and it made me miss having a GROUP like I did all throughout high school and college. I just really appreciated how strong the friendships were but they were also susceptible to being caught in the wave of change and not knowing how to adjust.

5. Simon: Simon is just an unforgettable character and I really felt like I KNOW him… and it’s one of those cases where I’m sad he exists only in the pages and in my heart. You’ll know what I mean when you meet him. He’s smart, funny and thoughtful but humanly flawed. So humanly flawed. He makes me smile and I think everyone would be better off having met him.

6. These quotes: I loved the writing in this book in general but I loved these were some of my favorite quotes (just to note, they ARE taken from the ARC so subject to change):

     ” But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

     “As a side note, don’t you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

     “People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

a6RATING-beyondloved

factors+ plot, writing, characters, romance, humor, relationships explored, how it made me think, THE FEELS
–  NOTHING.

Re-readability: YES!!!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? YES!!

a5EVERYONE. Yep.

a8I think a good indication of how much I loved this book was that, in writing this review, I went to find one quote from it and got absorbed reading almost the whole book again (I read it in December for the first time and I’m not much of a re-reader though I like it in theory). It’s one of my favorite romances I’ve read in a while that in addition also perfectly explores the always evolving nature of friendships (and people), the idea of ‘coming out’ and how people, even the ones we’ve known for forever, will always keep surprising us with the new dimensions and the numerous “vast room and tiny windows” as Simon puts it. This book made me indescribably happy and I’m not going to shut up about it.

review-on-post-itsimonvsthehomosapiensagenda

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?

 

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. OOhh, I pre-ordered this as a birthday present back in January. I was already excited, but now that I’ve read your review I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m also about to start reading “The Winner’s Curse” now that I’ve finished re-reading The Raven Cycle.

  2. This review was a great sales pitch for the book, Jamie. One click on Amazon and I have pre-ordered the novel. I have heard about it several times before, but your review kind of settled it 😉

    • YAY this makes me so happy! I am stingy with my “beyond loved it” ratings but when I do give them out I’m like READ THIS READ THIS READ THIS!!! You’ll have to let me know what you think when you read it!

      • I will, I’ll even try to write a review. I have been focusing on Norwegian YA lately and since very little of it is translated there has been very little blogging on my part, also time and life and all that(bad book blogger). Fingers crossed I’ll be just as happy with grabing a copy as you have been 😀

  3. Brittney says:

    I work for an Indie bookstore and I’ve totally been gushing about this book to customers (and other booksellers) since November: “No seriously. This book. It’s the most wonderful YA romance ever. Like Rainbow Rowell levels of adorable. You totally have to read it right…when it comes out many months from now.”

    One of the hardest (but most fun) parts of being a bookseller is hand-selling to customers. We have read current releases months ago and our brains are currently occupied with books that won’t come out for some time.

    • YAAAS I feel ya. I read it in December and I’m like WAIT WAIT I need to be able to tell everyone to go out and buy this/buy copies for people I love!! SO LONG OF A WAIT. And yes soooo agreee with “Rainbow Rowell levels of adorable” — such an apt way to describe it!!

  4. YES I’m so glad you loved this one Jamie! I did too SO MUCH and I haven’t been been able to shut up about it for months. I’m glad the release date is soon because I can finally book push it on friends where they can actually buy the books(and I had to pre-order a finish copy for myself ASAP! I like buying finished copies of ARCs but I generally wait until the paperback is out for $$ reasons but this one I just HAD to have). It was so freaking adorable and I’ve already re-read my ARC. I really love that you mention the friend group aspect because that was part of the novel I hadn’t seen a whole lot of talk about but that I LOVED. So often in YA main characters only have one of two friends, but seeing the dynamic of a GROUP is so different and I could totally relate to that because I definitely also had a friend group in high school and it was so great but also so strange in its dynamics at time and this book made me reminiscence SO much.

    • I KNOWWW OMG I HAVE BEEN HOLDING OFF ON THIS REVIEW BUT IT IS SO HARD. I just want to give copies away and make everyone read it. Sometimes I hate AND love reading books early for this reason.

      YES I’m glad you think the friendship group was strong in this too! It really stood out to me…just as great as the romance was for me. And DAMN that romance was good. And I agree…I was thinking in my head how many books I’ve read that had friend GROUPS that didn’t just focus on the two bffs. This one and also Emery Lord’s The Start of Me and You does that pretty well. Starts with the 4 close friends and then they kind of add some people to it!

      I love that we are on the same page with this one!!

  5. I haven’t put much thought into reading this one, but obviously I should! Great review Jamie!

  6. I am utterly in love with this book and I haven’t even read it yet! You have convinced me, Jamie, that I need to read this book ASAP. It sounds amazing, beautiful, emotional… and WHO IS BLUE I AM DYING TO KNOW WHO BLUE IS. 😀

    • OMG YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH SIMON. I KNOW IT. It’s so damn charming. And I will be curious to see if you guess who Blue is (I DID NOT).

  7. WOW. Just wow, Jamie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you hand out that “beyond loved-a new fave!” in a while. And this makes me SO HAPPY because I srsly cannot wait to get my hands on this debut. Even with that first chapter preview last week, I had an instant connection with Simon! Awesome review!

  8. I’d love to leave a long and thoughtful reply BUT I HAVE TO GO & FIND THIS BOOK.

  9. Ahhhh Jamie your review is perfect! I haven’t been able to get this book out of my head, and I don’t ever want it to leave – it just makes me so HAPPY to think about. I can’t wait for everyone to read this! And, like you, I’ve re-read that ending countless times now. I can’t wait to have my physical copy!

  10. I wanna read this soooo bad! it sounds awesome, great review!! <3

  11. After you totally fangirled over this book during ApollyCon, I definitely wanted to read it! And your thoughts on it are absolutely great. I absolutely cannot wait to snag a copy, and hopefully, fall in love with it as much as you have <3

  12. I just finished this book last night. I want to make all my friends read this book so I can talk to them about it. This is probably the first book I’ve read where the flirting felt easy and sweet. It wasn’t hate-flirting. It was sweet, happy, falling in love flirting. Simon truly lived up to the hype. And I hated Martin but I pitied him too. How sad do you have to be to think blackmail is appropriate? I think I’m gonna go hug my book and dance around the house now. Hanks for letting me gush!!!

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