About Books #44: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I know, I know, I’m completely behind the times. How could I possibly not have read this yet, etc. and so on and so forth. I actually had planned to read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for the #inloveathon. But then school started back up just as the inloveathon actually took place and, well… That just didn’t happen. But then I came across the physical copy last week and I knew I had to get it. Oh, and read it within 24 hours, apparently. Suffice it to say: it was a ride!

The book

“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.”

The opinion

So, first of all: a book that has a gay character as it’s main character. And their gay-ness is not the only plot? What? (yeah, I know, this shouldn’t be as much of a surprise as it still is, today)

Also, can we appreciate the fact that Abby, a WOC, is not just a character (and sure, a secondary one, but like a primary secondary character), but also universally liked? (Seriously, why are more people not writing this?)

Now, as you maybe know, I read a lot of romance. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda had probably one of the stronger plotlines of a lot of the romance I’ve ever read. (And again: that’s a lot of competition). Sure, there were some loose ends I would have liked to have seen more of – a certain blackmailer could have done with some serious punishment, for one. And of cours I need more info on Leah. And on Abby, actually. You know, you can say a lot about Simon, but not that he’s the most observing person ever. (Basically from the first time a certain person is mentioned, it felt pretty obvious that he would turn out to be Blue, no?) But I guess that just means I’ll have to get Leah on the Offbeat as well?

The rating: 4.75/5

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was not quite life changing – but it definitely is the kind of book I want to read a lot more of. It’s the type of book – also – that more publishers need to get out. You know: books about (and certainly: BY) people who don’t adhere to the 6 pillars of privilege (i.e. people who aren’t male, and old, and white, and straight, and cis-gendered, and mental-illness-free). It’s not even a matter of “political stance” – it’s a matter of: I like to read about the world as it is. Newsflash: the world’s diverse. Oh, and also, this book was just extremely well-written, regardless of any possible diversity-strategies. A definite recommendation, in other words!

Get it on Amazon! (affiliate link)

By the way – I already read mainly female authors. That’s both as a conscious choise and just because, well, romance is more often written by women. So if you have any recommendations for me? Especially for the last 4 pillars? Please do leave them below!

-Saar