Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Narrator: Michael Crouch
Run-time: 6 hrs, 45 mins
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 with, 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.
Me + This Book
Simon, 17, finds solace in his family, friendships, and anonymously exchanging emails with someone who calls himself “Blue”. All that is threatened when a classmate stumbles across Simon’s emails with Blue and threatens to out Simon to the whole school if he doesn’t help him get what he wants. The story follows Simon as he tries to live his normal life – high school, drama club, his almost-too-supportive family, his friends and their dramas, falling for Blue, trying to figure out who Blue is – all while being blackmailed.
I loved it. Simon’s story is touching and swoon-worthy. Start to finish the characters are all lovable and relatable and real. It’s about high schoolers and high school drama but was able to avoid the eye roll-inducing effect that some YA has on adult readers. The atmosphere of Simon’s high school seemed so real and so Today- for example, rumors are spread and secrets are shared through the school’s Tumblr and the Spier family has Facebook scavenger hunts on Christmas Eve.
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Michael Crouch. He has a really great YA voice and captured Simon’s emotions expertly. His character voices were subtle but distinct. I’ll look out for more narrated by him.
The story takes place in Metro Atlanta. My life also takes place in Metro Atlanta, so the references to local places were a really fun bonus. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a really wonderful book and, if you like YA, should be your next book.