Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
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 hate (and I mean hate) re-reading books, but it’s something I used to do a lot when I was younger.
In elementary school, I think I re-read the same three or four Royal Diaries until my school’s librarian was like, “Sara, maybe check out something else for a change.” In middle school, I switched over to Tamora Pierce and honestly, I probably read each of her books at least five times. For the most part, I stopped re-reading by the time I was in high school. I think it was around that time that I realized just how many books there were that I hadn’t read yet. I realized that the books I could read weren’t just limited to what I could find in my library or in the tiny bookshop downtown. I also got my first debit card and realized I could buy totally new books online with my babysitting money. The only books I re-read these days are my nephew’s storybooks. I’ll never stop appeasing him by reading it “just one more time.”
But sometimes, my yearly reading challenge will insist that I re-read a book. Unfortunately, I don’t think reading the same board book sixteen times in one night counts. If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t understand the point of this prompt. I think this is the third year that I’ve been asked to re-read a book, and I always leave it until the very end of the year because there are just so many other books that I could be reading.
Obviously, it would be better to re-read a book that I loved. The problem with that is that most of the books I’ve loved are part of a series, and what, I’m just going to re-read one of the books? No, once I get going, I’ll be in a ten-book rabbit hole and there goes a month of my life. I’d initially chosen a cute, summery book that I planned to read in August, but then life got in the way. So, in honor of Love, Simon, I decided to re-read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. You can see my first review here.
I liked Simon vs. the first time around. The second time around? I loved it. Has Simon always been this goofy kid who stumbles through life not really knowing what to do with himself? I mean, I suppose so, but he’s just so much more endearing than I remembered.
Another thing that was just more than I remembered was the whole blackmail aspect. In the two years since I first read this book, I had almost completely forgotten about it. Talk about a conflict. And Simon’s reaction! And the eventual way that it all turns out.
And the romance. First of all, it’s even more adorable than I remembered, and – I can’t believe I’m admitting this – I’m glad I re-read this book so that I could see all the little hints about Blue’s identity. I’m so curious about how this is all going to play out on the big screen, and I couldn’t help but picture the actors as I was reading.
I never thought I’d say it, but this is one book that I could see myself reading over and over again.
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.
Final rating: ★★★★★
#mmdreading: a book you’ve already read