Book review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


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.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Why is reading this book somehow the most homely feeling in the world?? like stars realigning & flowers growing inside you & a thousand suns setting within your very bones??

So this is the third time that I’m reading Simon vs. I watched the movie trailer and I literally could not keep from picking it up again.

Here’s the thing: this was one of the very first queer books that I’ve read and forever I will associate it with that genuine feeling of connection, the comfort of realizing your experiences are universal, the loveliness of knowing that you have a community. I remember finishing it the first time and thinking how wrong it felt that everything looked the same, as if the world should have registered the events and it should have changed the way that I changed??

Simon vs. is a book every lgbtq+ teen should read. It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story about a gay teen – Simon, who’s trying to define himself and all of his edges, to learn to be unafraid of wanting to be who he is and loving who he loves while facing conflicts that are too familiar to a lot of us. It’s a story that advocates a world where being straight isn’t the default, where there’s no sexuality assumptions and where lgbtq+ people aren’t being pressured to “come out”; but it’s also a story that firmly states that coming out is a very personal thing for someone to do and no one should take that away from them.

This book really has a place in my heart no one else ever could have and I really cannot recommend it strongly enough!!

“As a side note, don’t you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

Okay. This next section is going to be super spoilery and basically just me fangirling!! so if you haven’t read the book, you know the drill!!

“Do you ever feel locked into yourself? I’m not sure if I’m making sense here. I guess what I mean is that sometimes it seems like everyone knows who I am except me.”

✨ do you ever just sit and think about how cute a book is and get all smiley?? when you’re trying to start your homework again and you can’t because you have to stop and smile more??
✨ I feel like roses and sunshine and glitter
✨ I feel like Becky Albertalli personally broke into my house and tucked me into bed and made me a warm cup of tea and asked me how I’m doing
✨ it literally does not matter what mood I am in or how crappy of a day I had, Simon vs. never fails to make me smile
✨ and can you believe there are people out there who’ve never read this book???? how sad???
✨ alright let’s talk about this book

✨ Simon is basically me: 1) I too only understand like 5% of life. 2) I too constantly think about how much I’ve changed in the past 3 years and just go like, thank god. (no really, if someone could erase any traces of my existence before the age of 14, I would really appreciate it). 3) I’m just so [clenches fist] GaY. I mean you’d think after being gay my whole life I wouldn’t be so shook when a girl looks in my general direction, but there I am, still freakin’ shook.
✨ And finally, I too have made so many connections with people on the internet that I like so much I sometimes legit sit there and think “holy sh*t. there are people who are LUCKY enough to see this person IN THE FLESH. ON A REGULAR DAILY BASIS. I hope they realize that the universe has aligned in their favor and they’re so goddamn LUCKY”
✨ I love Simon. He’s just so likable. I mean he can be a piece of sh*t sometimes, but I have no right to judge him, for I too am a swamp gremlin
✨ let’s move on to my ABSOLUTE FAV though
✨ can you believe Bram has only made a grand total of like, 5 appearances in this book (most of which were towards the end) and my idiotic self still managed to fall completely in love with him??
✨ Bram is literally the softest human to ever exist. He’s the human embodiment of sunshine and glitter and nice things. And I love him. he’s literally so gentle and so kind and he BLUSHES because that’s just how BIG OF A CUTIE he is. And oh my god. I need to lie down for a second
✨ I know he’s fictional or whatever but I really hope that the universe is this kind to him whenever he’s in need because I love him and he’s one of those people who would genuinely make you feel wanted and beautiful because them even looking at you makes you feel special & they’re so amazing and how could someone that radiant even exist!!!
✨I just really love Bram, alright
✨ aaaand
✨ He’s also so relatable: 1) he doesn’t know how to continue a conversation after saying hello & he has zero communication skills and also his inner monologues are probably something like this: ‘ok. be cool, JUST be cool for once in yur goddaMN LIFE don’t be so awkward’ #same. 2) He’s an introvert who surrounds himself with extroverts because he doesn’t think he’s fun or funny and he would rather just sit there and listen while someone else has the burden of creating the mood and atmosphere. 3) he literally does not possess the barest modicum of chill when it comes to his crush. yeah. let’s not forget how he dragged his best friend to this school play THREE times, solely because the boy he’s been hardcore pining after had a NON-SPEAKING role in it. Bram, son, I hate to be the one to break this to you but you’re a total mess and I support you
✨ ok I’ll shut up about Bram now
✨ how about we move on to BRAM+SIMON
✨ you’d think after two years my obsession with this otp would be quelled by now but I guess my feelings are well acquainted with the concept of recycling
✨ I am in love with their love. it’s so innocent and so warm and so sickeningly sweet… the kind that makes my insides all gooey & glittery and causes my heart to flutter uncomfortably and feel like I am going to spontaneously combust!!!
✨ But it’s also idk?? the calm and cool kind of love, it’s quiet and steady & kinda feels like coming home??
✨I am probably being too corny but you can’t look me in the eye and tell me you haven’t gone through something when Bram showed up at the Ferris wheel & when he left the Elliott Smith t shirt in Simon’s locker with literally the softest love note ever and when they skipped lunch and went on an oreos adventure to the convenience store
✨ and ‘so hold it‘ when Simon said he really wanted to hold his hand and ‘I thought I was just seeing what I want to see‘ because Bram really wanted it to be Simon???
✨ yeah anyway one day my life will not revolve around fictional characters. today is fortunately not that day
✨ OK but can we also talk about the fact that Bram’s hints in the emails were so subtle and so lowkey and very thought out so they would eventually reveal his identity if Simon ONLY knew where to look ?? and then there’s Simon who’s such a fumbling dork and who couldn’t be smooth for the sake of his existence?? he was so blantantly obvious with the whole “Jacques a dit” thing & rambling about his teachers that it was too easy for Bram to put two and two together?? god I love them
✨ and yeah. sometimes I’m sad and stressed out and feeling like crap but then, right before my eyes, I can see it: that scene where Simon calls soccer tryouts ‘auditions’ because he’s such a massive theater dork and Bram smiles at him so softly and Simon has literally no idea what to do with himself ???? messes me up big time
✨anyway, I still can’t believe we will get to witness Simon and Blue fall in love on the big screen. 2018 is saved and we’re not even there yet!!!

✨ is it just me or is this damn review getting so long??
✨ I wish I was this passionate about my college assignments
✨ anyway
✨ LEAH!!!
✨ I have an abundance of feelings about Leah
✨ first of all, I RELATE to Leah so much (look I know what you’re thinking but everyone is relatable and this book has so much of me in it. it’s unbelievable)
✨ 1) my talent is also coming off as an inviting and warm and open person but still remaining fairly closed off?? 2) I’m also very familiar with those Moods where you need like, affection and validation from your friends but you resent that you have to ask for it so you end up just sulking alone in your bed wishing someone would psychically know that you need a three hours hug!! 3) I too automatically assume everyone dislikes me unless EVERY individual states otherwise, as in they have to constantly tell me that they actually enjoy my presence in order for me to believe that they don’t actually secretly hate me and constantly think I’m annoying and are just being friendly to be polite!!!
✨ okay I love Leah. & can we appreciate what a good friend she is?? how she emulates the open warmth only kind people effortlessly exude just by being their genuine selves??? I feel like she’s one of those genuinely nice girls who tell you your hair looks good or gently let you know if you have lipstick on your teeth and make the world a little more brilliant
✨ I mean, remember how Simon immediately knew she was the one who picked his birthday cake because it was perfect and if anyone would remember how he could never commit to one flavor & thinks red icing tastes too red, it would be Leah?? Idk, man. Friends who are committed to recalling small details about you without you having to tell them are a warm luxury everyone deserves!!
✨ but here’s the thing: I’ve read this book twice before and how I felt about Leah feeling upset over Simon coming out to Abby first in both times was: ‘hmm, leave it to straight people to make everything about them’. I still think she could have handled that better but I also realize I can’t totally discount her feelings?? I understand how hurtful it is to have to second guess where you stand in someone’s heart when you’re their best friend. But I’m also completely on Simon’s side because I have come to learn that revealing all of you to the people who mean the most to you is the absolute hardest thing to do
✨ anyway I just wanted to put that out there in the universe
✨ okay who’s next
✨ I also love Abby, she’s a soft summer girl dappled in sunlight and she’s so cute with her casual displays of friendship and platonic love, it’s so good and pure and beautiful always!!
✨ Martin can choke on his saliva. There’s no amount of apology letters that would undo outing Simon in the most horrible way imaginable and I hate him. I hate him. I hope he’s out there experiencing SH*T.

Alright on that last happy note, that’s it for tonight’s show. Thank you. Be kind always. Goodbye and goodnight!!

3 thoughts on “Book review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli”

  1. This review is wonderful and perfect and makes me want to reread Simon vs. right this second, because it’s the cutest book ever and makes me smile so much. I love Simon sooo much and Bram — I don’t even have words for my love for him. He is the most adorably shy, awkward person ever and I wish him and Simon the best. ♥️♥️♥️ (Also. I can’t wait for the movie!!!)


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