Book Review & Discussion: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Guess what day today is?? It’s the release of the Love, Simon movie!! 🎉 I am so H Y P E D because I’m going to go watch it with friends tonight. tumblr_nk69uy5xly1uosfcgo1_400In honor of the movie release, here is my full book review and discussion:

Spoiler-free Summary: 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 was really fun to read. 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ It’s impossible not to love Simon. He’s so adorkable. He’s a precious cinnamon roll oreo that needs to be protected. I especially enjoyed how genuine all the characters were. They were fun-loving, yet they were flawed. Their experiences and emotions are extremely relatable for any teen.

Part of what makes this book fun is the mystery–who is Blue? As a reader, we’re kept in the dark, but Becky Albertalli leaves subtle foreshadowing to help the reader along. We get to witness Simon grow as an individual and come to terms with accepting himself. At the same time, we’re taught the important lesson of learning to accept others. 💖

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

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Writing

Becky Albertalli’s writing is very direct, but she inserts a lot of foreshadowing and important messages throughout the book. I really like how the theme of coming out was taken on several levels. With Simon, it was being gay. With Simon’s sisters, they were keeping their own “secrets” of being a guitar player in a band and having a boyfriend in college. There’s this consistent theme of being afraid of change and being judged that holds the characters back, yet it’s extremely relatable. It’s natural as humans to worry about how others will perceive us differently once we reveal something intimate about ourselves.

Characters 

SIMON 😍 He was so wonderfully witty and light-hearted. He has a normal lifestyle that many of us can relate to–hanging with friends, spending time with family, overthinking little things, cracking jokes, giving hugs. He’s the type of guy who is super easy to get along with, so when you find out that he is being blackmailed by monkey’s asshole-Martin, you really want to be there as a supportive reader/friend to protect him.love-simon-movie-trailerIn terms of Simon’s friend group, I was pretty skeptical and meh about the Abby-Leah-Nick love triangle. It honestly took me a while to get over this trope. Abby is super bubbly and fun–a breath of fresh air. I thought it was so sweet how Simon was able to come out to her and how accepting and supportive she was when he did. Leah, on the other hand, is more serious. She’s going through a rough time because she feels as if she’s being replaced. While that’s not true, it’s easy for the negative emotions and thoughts to get the best of her. In that way, I find her so real.

I really despise Martin. He’s such an annoying character, but I can understand that there would be people like him in real life. He’s so horrible for blackmailing Simon, and I didn’t like his “apology” email to Simon at the end of the book. I put the word apology in quotes because it didn’t feel real. I’m sure that Martin does feel guilty and remorseful, but it seemed more like he only sent an email because he wanted to relive his feelings of guilt.love-simon-nick-robinson-jennifer-garner-josh-duhamel-600x400I can also really appreciate the fact that Simon’s family existed in this book. Most YA contemporaries are solely focused on the main romance and drama that we forget that these people are normal human beings with family alongside friends.

Plot 

First off, I thought it was absolutely hilarious that Tumblr was “ground zero for Creekwood High School gossip.” At my high school, Tumblr was definitely not a widely used platform. It was reserved for the coolest of kids AKA me…just kidding. 😂19083472.gif

Personally, I found the first half of the book to be rather slow. It wasn’t until the mid-point did things start picking, and I started getting more invested in the plot and characters.

The mystery aspect of the book made the plot super entertaining. It somewhat felt like A Cinderella Story with all the secret emails and hidden identities. I originally guessed Martin to be Blue…BUT THANK GOODNESS HE WASN’T.

I thought the book did a really great job of showcasing how people react to others coming out–both the good reactions and the bad. I was basically cheering for Ms. Albright! She stood up for Simon when those footballers were making fun of him. More teachers should be like that. hmph.

Pre-Movie Thoughts

Truthfully, I think I’m going to like the movie much more than the book. Nick Robinson is the perfect Simon Spier–he’s exactly how I pictured Simon in my head. Bram is being played by Keiynan Lonsdale who also played Ollie on Dance Academy. I think the movie’s marketing strategy team did an A+ job in changing the movie title. It’s much more catchy, and I think it’ll draw in a larger audience that isn’t just limited to the book’s readers.

(Also, I didn’t realize why the movie was titled Love, Simon until the last email where he signed it off as Love, Simon…IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW)

In Conclusion

Simons vs. is a very fun and cutesy read, yet it’s a book with a lot of strong messages. If you haven’t picked it up yet, you definitely should…and afterward, go buy a pack of Oreos and watch the movie! giphy.gif

Want to Buy This Book?

If you purchase the paperback or hardback version from Book Depository, I make a small commission which helps keeps my blog running. 🛍️ They have free shipping worldwide, so talk about a win-win solution!


Have you read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Are you going to watch the movie? Let me know in the comments! 💕

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13 thoughts on “Book Review & Discussion: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

  1. I was smiling throughout reading your review, Tiffany!!! I wish I could watch the movie with you to witness all the Simon-Oreo-Blue squealing, but alas, we’re oceans apart. 😢 (I would love to hate on movie-Martin with you, too. 😂)

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    1. AIMEE ❤ YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME SMILE~ Thanks so much for checking out my review! Let me know when you've watched the movie, so we can squeal about its cuteness!! (omg you'll love hating on movie-martin)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I recently read Simon and it was a 5 star read for me 😀 I loved it so much! Simon is new love. And the whole story is so adorable! I can’t wait to see the movie. I am really hoping that it releases here soon 😦

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  3. I read Simon, vs. a little while ago when everyone was talkin about the book being released, being amazing and super fun and cute and adorable, so I had to cave and read it. I’m glad I did ahah, I ended up really loving it – the characters are just incredible and you just want to hug them all. I ‘m pretty thrilled about the movie cast, too, so far it sounds quite perfect. I can’t wait to watch the movie, I hope you enjoyed it! Unfortunately, I have to wait late June for it to be released in my country, don’t know how I will handle this hahaha.
    Lovely post! 🙂 x

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  4. YES YES YES YESSSS @ EVERYTHING. I couldn’t have said it better myself- this book is AMAZING. <333 I read it twice and even though I knew who Blue is the second time around, I still enjoyed it just as much as the first time! I think the second time, I was able to notice some of the other important aspects that were included (i.e. race, change, friendship).

    I saw the movie and I DIED. It's been a week and I haven't stopped thinking about it?? It was beyond amazing and I have no words to describe how it made me feel- I wanted to cry tears of happiness. I managed to write a review/reaction to it on my blog (http://www.paperpizzablog.com/2018/03/why-simon-vs-homo-sapiens-agenda-aka.html) BUT IT DID NOT DO MY FEELS JUSTICE. My sisters and I snuck in Oreos just for Simon. 😉 I am eagerly waiting to see it again.

    YES. The cast is honestly *perfection*. I love Nick Robinson so much and Keiynan Lonsdale is SUCH A CUTIE. I remember watching him in Dance Academy! Nick Robinson made the perfect Simon. He was so cute and awkward and ugh. ❤ AND THE END OF THE MOVIE. Ahhh…!!!! My sisters and I were cheering and then the rest of the theater kind of joined in. It was so great.

    I feel like the book and movie are two different experiences but still wonderful. I definitely agree that this movie isn't just for the book lovers and that is totally okay. ❤

    Hehe, sorry for spewing my emotions at you. I just love this story so much. Wonderful review! You did an amazing job. ❤ 🙂

    xx Kenzie | http://www.paperpizzablog.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for checking it out!! The movie was honestly just so good. I loved it so much. The entire theater was cheering and the girls behind me were crying which is totally relatable~ I really want to watch the movie again. I think Nick Robinson had amazing fashion sense too LOL.

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  5. Oh wow, you get to watch it in theatre! My country banned it -_-

    Anyway, I loved your review and omg your and my feelings about Leah are THE SAME.
    A lot of people hate Leah because I don’t think they really get her. She’s just insecure and rather pessimistic But she reminds me so much of me 💗
    Bram is the cutest and all the movie actors do justice to their role, it’s tge perfect movie! 😊😍

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    1. WHAT?! I’m so sorry that it was banned! That’s so unfair 😦

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my review ❤ I honestly didn't understand why Leah was getting so much hate because she's going through what a lot of us angsty teens go through at some point. I honestly loved Bram and in the movie too! I'm not sure if you were able to see the movie, but I hope you can someday ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ikr! I saw the movie twice online, it’s so freaking perfect and Keiynan Lonsdale(Bram) is a ray of sunshine 💖 Have you heard his songs? Too good!

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