Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Balzer + Bray on April 7th, 2015

Content Warning: Homophobia, bullying and underage drinking

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

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.

My Expectations (section header)

This book has made its mark as a classic in the gay contemporary genre. I was persuaded by my friend, Charvi, to pick this book up and I did so just after the movie buzz started getting really loud, so I was very excited to read it.

My Review (section header)

Simon was a very easy narrator to sympathise with. I loved the group dynamic he and his friends shared. His family was also very sweet and supportive throughout, which was nice to read about since I mostly read speculative fiction books with dead/absent parents. I also liked how the antagonist was handled and how characters were portrayed as normal human beings who made good or bad choices instead of making them outright evil or good.

The plot itself was quite simple and relied upon the characters to drive it forward. It was compelling enough for me to regret pausing the audiobook. Becky’s writing really clinched it for me. She was able to perfectly recreate how a sixteen-year-old boy thinks and functions. She had a good handle on her characters and interspersed the tough topics like homophobia and coming out with light-hearted moments. Reading the book felt like being wrapped up in a cosy hug of goodness. My favourite bits were all the mentions of Oreos.

The only reason I couldn’t give this book a full five stars is because I was spoiled for the identity of Blue and the mystery element was completely ruined for me because of that. Every red herring and wrong conclusion Simon came to was frustrating for me. If I hadn’t been spoiled, I’m sure this book would make it to my favourites list.

My Recommendations (section header)

I would highly encourage anyone who is in the mood for a light and fluffy contemporary to pick this up, especially if you want a gay romance. For the music, I’d go for a romantic playlist or something with soft piano notes to build up the mood. As for the food, I’d suggest a pack of Oreos and milk.

Book and Author Links (section header)
Book: Publisher’s Website | Book Depository | Goodreads

Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr


Let's discuss (blog graphic)

Have you read this book? Have you watched the movie adaptation? If yes, what are your thoughts? Are there any other contemporary books you’d suggest for fans of the book? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.

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With cute boys falling in love, messy friendships and complicated family dynamics, this book is sure to give you all the warm fuzzies - Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

14 thoughts on “Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

    1. I’ve heard they have kept most of it intact except a few scenes here and there. I’m so glad you liked the movie! ♥️ I’m yet to watch it mostly because it’s not available in India yet. Hope Netflix or Amazon picks it up soon so I can watch it! Hope you enjoy the book. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ugh, spoilers can be so annoying, I’m so sorry you got spoiled about Blue’s identity! I’m happy that despite this, you enjoyed this book a whole lot, I loved it just as well and adored how Simon’s famly was present and just so adorable overall, too ❤ Lovely review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spoilers for this book are everywhere, but mostly on Twitter – that’s where it happened to me. 🙈 Hope you pick it up soon and are successful in avoiding spoilers until then. I’m sure you’ll love this book, Sophie! Happy reading. ♥️

      Like

  2. Great review! I’m sorry to hear you had been spoiled about Blue :/ but anyways, I really liked the book and found that finding Blue gave this book a different edge over the others but well, I get why it frustrated you as you knew the truth already. I hope you read Leah on the Offbeat and The Upside of the Unrequited

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jayati! ♥️ Yes, I think that little mystery element would’ve surely made me give this a 5 stars. I’m excited to pick up The Upside of Unrequited now. 😍 I’ve heard mixed things about Leah and I didn’t like her much in this one either, so it’s not a priority for me. 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

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