Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This debut novel is the kind of book that makes the readers fall in love with the characters as they are falling in love with each other. Simon is a high school junior living outside of Atlanta, Georgia. He has befriended someone he calls Blue through a local Tumblr feed and they are sympathetic souls, both being young, gay and in the closet. Unfortunately, he forgets to close his Google Mail on a school computer, and an unscrupulous boy finds it and begins blackmail Simon in order to try to date one of Simon’s good friends. Simon could care less about himself, but “Blue” also goes to his school and he doesn’t want him to get outed by Martin. Even though the boys don’t know each other’s real names, they are becoming friends by sharing their deeper secrets, insecurities and fears. The book follows their relationship through their emails, and Simon’s life with his crazy family and best friends. Neither boy has come out to their family or friends, and the story follows their attempts to do so in two completely different family situations.
Albertalli is also a psychologist who works with teens, and that experience comes through in her realistic characters. Their actions and conversations feel honest, and I defy anyone not to at least “fall in like” with Simon. I highly recommend this book to all teen readers. I started reading it one afternoon and couldn’t put it down until I finished it!
Reviewed by Alex Provence
Trailer by Rachael Schoonaert