Reading A Clash of Kings (of which I’m nearly done with eeeek) got really boring at parts because as good as G.R.R.M is at writing, the book is sooo long and it dragged basically a lot, so I ended up resolving to read this, because I had wanted to for quite a while. I was anticipating a fun read, but I was not anticipating it to be SOOO good. I sat in bed and I read it all in one sitting. My family probably thought that I’d jumped out the window and decided to live in the yard.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is honestly the cutest book I’ve probably read. And it’s so cute, because it was ridiculously normal! I mean, even in contemporary now there’s all sorts of different characters with their own piques and individualities, but Simon is just normal. Perfectly normal, surrounded by normal kids and normal people (see how I differentiated kids from people there aye). But normal is complicated, and that’s why this book was the cutest normal of ever.
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Contemp. GLBT
Standalone, 303 pages
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.
I can’t think of any words to describe this book (this is why I keep not blogging and instead procrastinating by listening to my sister watch TV in the other room and also playing Spotify and dancing in my chair and making weird faces) Well, I can think of the word ‘cute’, but that’s already been overused up to now. I just don’t know how to describe the feeling that I’m feeling. Justin Timberlake described it pretty well, but as I can’t use that (or can I) to describe the book, I’ll try to explain the best parts of the book.
Honest to god, I cannot, for all the seven kingdoms of Westeros (which I would happily take) communicate what I felt about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (which is good). I’ll start off by listing the characters and making more zebra sounds and taking pleasure in eating cereal (which is delicious).
Normal Simon Spier The Cutie
Ask yourself this: why am I happy that Simon
says, the blonde dude is so cute and normal AKA not a stereotype? BECAUSE HE’S NOT A STEREOTYPE.
Authors have always fitted characters, no matter what genre, no matter in what way, into stereotypes. And therefore the sense of stereotypes has been adapted to all things–it’s a stereotype to be a cute, happy, normal character, it’s a stereotype to be a silent, moody-but-secretly-caring jock–everything’s stereotyped and expected in some way.
But the way he was written–that was what caught me. He was ordinary, and light, and fun, yes, but he was so alive. I’m not saying dead characteristics don’t catch my eye, but he was full of life, he was full of energy, he was full of Oreos, similar things. He was a very ordinarily extraordinary individual, with his own differentiating qualities, but also things that made me genuinely smile, like his always-happy mood, his hilariously real family, his lovesickness, his relationship with an individual he met over the internet…?! LIKE HONESTLY I SWOONED THE WHOLE TIME.
The ordinarily perfect romance
MORE SWOONING IS TO BE DONE. Blue and Simon’s virtual intercourse was so perfectly crafted–I mean, the way Blue and Simon fell in love was so honest and real. The way they talked about things–it was like they were soulmates and I loved it.
BUT THE EMAILS OMGGG. They were adorable and realistic at the same time, I mean, you could tell how close Simon and Blue were just by the way they talked so openly to each other, even though they, ultimately, didn’t know each other by face. It was so heartwarming to see a relationship grow like that, to see both Blue and Simon fall in love with the person, and not the face. It was honestly everything I like to see in a fictitious relationship. It was so real and just so perfect.
I’m honestly dying right now, because OMG THEY ARE SO CUTE. Normally I deem relationships as ridiculous because I oft want one of the characters for myself, but these two are just too perfect for each other for me to want anything else. The real slow-burn relationship was warm and it felt nice to have something that didn’t speed through and cause it to be anticlimactic.
The ending made me so ridiculously happy. I mean, the way Blue and Simon finally discovered each other–AGHH CAN I SCREAM. So extraordinarily done.
The mystery behind Blue
Oh, gosh. This was done perfectly AF. I was speculating who Blue was the whole time. The mystery behind who he was was done artfully. I mean, there were so many viable people and there were so many people in general in the story. They all had qualities that made them worthy of suspicion, but then little things would be revealed and then those possibilities would change.
It was actually a big part of the story, the mystery. I thought it would just be about the dialogue between them through the emails, but a lot of it was actually about Simon wondering and speculating about who Blue was. In all honesty, it made sense, and it was very realistic, even though I wondered why he didn’t start really investigating earlier. But oh well, it was still super cute. Honestly, though, if I can rant for a bit about my own speculation (ahem this can be translated to: spoilers maybe about who Blue was and who he wasn’t):
I honestly thought it was Martin. Like, think about it. I didn’t buy his “checking his emails from his brother” or whatever else was his excuse for checking his emails in the library that day when he accidentally saw Simon’s email server. I actually thought it was Blue, trying to check his emails or trying to send an email to Simon and then figuring out who it was and “figuring” out that Simon was gay.
But then it didn’t make much sense, to be honest, because I did think it was him, but then I didn’t understand why he would want Simon to get Abby to like Martin maybe…? I didn’t know, but my theory was that he wanted to catch Simon’s attention so he came up with the ploy to pretend to like Abby.
But then of course halfway through, he completely exploded on Simon and posted the stuff about Simon on the school Tumblr and then I was really confused, because I couldn’t understand why Simon actually kept emailing him (when the author led us to believe that it was Martin) and then thought that it was Matin, but still liked Martin even though he did some unforgivable stuff…? Still super confused with that, but then the ending came up and I was actually pretty happy with it. My theory was wrong anyway, but second to that, I would’ve guessed that Blue actually didn’t exist at all, and it was just some ploy planted on Simon or some big joke, which would have been terribly horrible and would’ve made him miserable. So I was happy with who it was.
All the different teenagers developing and changing AKA reality tho I hate reality
It was so realistic and correctly portrayed, the way all of the teenagers changed throughout the story. Even though the side characters that were there as fill-ins to make it seem like a real high school environment, though just barely briefed, were mentioned in different lights. It made it evident that people change and develop throughout time.
Leah being a real teenager
Okay, thank you Albertalli for giving me a character who acts like a real person. This was one of the people who I really liked in the book, and who seemed one of the more realer parts aside from Simon. Honest to god, there were so many people hating on Leah in the book reviews I read, and it made me a little confused, for two reasons:
- Did anyone notice that LEAH IS A FREAKING TEENAGE GIRL?! Being a teenager is hard work. Lots of feelings. Madness. Unicorns. Candy bars. Everything coexists but with more crying and more shouting and more hiding under the blankets of your bed and also stalking your favorite authors/youtubers on the internet. Her insecurity, and her behavior–it was normal. And it was displayed great! There were parts where you could tell she wasn’t being a good friend to Simon, but you know what? They always reconciled at the end, and she didn’t intentionally do anything to him. THEY ARE FRIENDS BRO AND THEY’RE BOTH VERY REAL, VERY TEENAGE, VERY HARDWORKING PEOPLE.
- Did anyone also notice that Leah had a crush on Nick which was a given but he had a crush on Abby? Anyone notice that? And then it didn’t help that Nick and Abby hooked up. It makes me mad AF when people don’t take notice of this and hate on Leah. EXCUSE ME PLEASE BUT HAVE YOU EVER DEALT WITH REALLY LIKING SOMEONE YOU HANG OUT WITH EVERYDAY WHO THEN HOOKS UP WITH SOMEONE ELSE? Hint: It hurts badly very badly. Leah was going through natural human feelings and natural human-ness. ALSO YAY BECAUSE IT SHOWED THAT HELLO PEOPLE YOUR FIRST CRUSH ISN’T GOING TO MARRY YOU ONE DAY. #realitysucks
Nick and Abby
I don’t have any problem with them getting together and hooking up, no, that’s not my problem as much as I despised it. I hated them as individual characters. Abby seemed nice at first but soon enough, I started to release that she was just a dark-skinned Barbie, which I didn’t like. Becky Albertalli tried to create diversity, which I appreciated, but people of all colors all have flaws and problems. Abby seemed well-rounded, completely perfect as a friend, student, and lover, but you can only have all of those redeeming qualities and be flawless until you seem unreal and phony. I DIDN’T ADMIRE IT.
And then Nick? What was he, a perfect student, a ‘cute’ naive friend, a perfect singer, a good looking guy, and a girl magnet? BAHAHAHAAAA. Oh, that’s hilarious. As if those kind of people exist? And he was described so briefly, so shallow and unchanging that he didn’t even compete with any of my beautiful male characters such as Rhysand and Will Herondale and such. UNREAL AF. Let’s just pretend that he’s the candy that you don’t steal from the kitchen when your family is living in other parts of the house: not real.
The inconsistent family
I don’t have much to explain this, but I will say this bugged me at one point. His dad makes a bunch of GLBT jokes but then once his son comes out, he suddenly feels wrong about all the jokes he made and decides he’s now a GLBT loving person? #fake
The shady sister who’s never there, but at the end is idolized for secretly learning how to play the guitar? That doesn’t matter. Who the crap is Nora? Who is she? I don’t know, because she was just briefly described, and not at all integrated into the plot.
The other sister who shows up just at the right time who, let’s be honest, I don’t know that anyone cared about. I can’t even remember her name. Alice, right? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was, like, Joe, because I didn’t care about her. She showed up with some Irish boyfriend (because he had a red beard…? #shorttermmemory) and then helped Simon all of a sudden with Blue because she’s shown, not described (#sarcasm) to be super caring? PLEEEEEEASE.
All in all, I really enjoyed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It was light, realistic, but still enjoyable and definitely super cute. It was exactly what I was looking for! I did have some problems with some of the side characters, but in the end, all of the other great elements of the book definitely outshined the negatives.
Those were my thoughts. I loved Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda!
Have you read this book? What are some of your favorite YA contemporaries? What is another light, fun book that you would recommend?