There is one book I wanted to talk to you about and it is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I stayed up all night reading it and I found it so good I almost finished it in one sitting. This coming-of-age novel is funny, touching, authentic, and discussed so many important issues. I take the opportunity that the movie adaptation (called Love, Simon) is coming out (this pun has been made approx. 359 times) today to write a short review and urge you to read the book before you go see the film.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a young-adult novel written by Becky Albertalli. She used to be a child psychologist and a school counsellor and I think that’s the reason why she captures the thoughts and feelings of teenagers so well. In her debut novel, she tells the tale of Simon Spier, 17-year-old, as he tries to come to terms with his sexuality, overcome blackmail and falls in love with the mysterious Blue he’s been exchanging emails with. What amazed me while reading this book was her capacity to understand the struggles of being a closeted teen.
The reason why I loved it so much has probably something to do with Simon. From the beginning, we get to see that he is such a funny loveable character and I loved seeing his journey. I gotta admit, I slightly fell in love with him and saw a lot of me in him. Especially him being a Harry Potter nerd, a huge book worm and the fact that he has a dog named Bieber. I could have totally done that when I was 16.
As a fan of Harry Potter, I was truly amused by all the references to it. I mean, the franchise is mentioned at least 100 times throughout the book – sometimes subtly and other times it was more upfront, but it was always done perfectly. My favourite bit was when Leah mentioned fan fictions about Draco and Harry, you can tell Albertalli did her homework on that one.
Slight complain though: are we really expected to buy that Simon has a crush on Daniel Radcliffe and not Tom Felton? Sounds fake but okay.
Simon vs. felt genuine and reading about a non-tragic gay romance felt comforting and heart-warming. Also, not to mention the diverse characters making it easier for the reader to identify with at least one of them: most of the main protagonists are not skinny straight white people and I think it is a great thing to show inclusiveness.
This book is fully aimed at millennials and Becky Albertalli did a magnificent job in managing to talk like them and to them. I laughed, I cried, I cheered – and if a book can do all that, it is a very good sign.
Also, I can’t finish this article without mentioning Becky’s acknowledgements at the end where she dedicates her book to all the LGBT+ children, it was a kind thought and really cute.
I think that Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a very important novel and I believe that we need more of that in today’s literature. I would recommend this book to every teenager and every one for that matter.
And if you end up loving it, Leah on the Offbeat is the upcoming sequel (24th of April!) that will be focused on Leah’s point of view and promises to be as diverse as Simon vs.
The movie Love, Simon was released in the USA a few weeks ago. It is the first time that a major studio produces a teen romance featuring a gay couple. It has already helped many people to come to terms with their own sexuality and to come out of the closet – including Keiynan Lonsdale (Bram Greenfeld) and Nick Robinson (Simon Spier)’s brother. I’m so glad the book gets to have a film adaptation because it will surely help next generations to accept themselves and others.
If you’ve already read the book or you’re still not convinced, watch the film trailer right now (PS: Simon didn’t dress up as a Dementor for Halloween, what’s up with that?)
Order your copy on Amazon.