Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

Hardcover, 2015

Status

Checked out
Due Apr 5, 2018

Call number

FIC ALB YA

Series

Tags

Collection

Publication

balzer bray (april 7, 2015) (no date)

Description

"Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity--and that of his pen pal--will be revealed"--

User reviews

LibraryThing member norabelle414
Simon Spier has not told anyone that he's gay. He knows everyone will still love him, but it's just not fair that he has to "come out" and straight people don't. The only person who knows is Simon's secret pen pal - a boy in Simon's grade who he emails with every day and knows only as "Blue". They confide in each other despite - or because of - not knowing who the other one is. But their relationship is in danger when someone finds out and threatens Simon with exposure. Will Simon give into blackmail, or let someone else take away his freedom to come out on his own terms?

Simon is great. Simon's family is great. His friends are great. The reveal of Blue's identity was perfect. As with the best YA books, there's a theme of not knowing who the people around you really are. Simon has a part of his life that he keeps from everyone else, but at the same time he doesn't know his classmates well enough to tell which one is Blue. As usual I had a few logistical problems (which probably mostly stem from the fact that I don't understand Tumblr) but the good writing and delightful story more than compensated.
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LibraryThing member mcelhra
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the book the movie Love, Simon is based on. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but if it’s even half as good as the book, I know I’ll love it. High school junior Simon is gay. The only person he’s told is Blue, another gay junior at his school. Simon and Blue have been emailing each other anonymously since the beginning of the school year. After a time, Simon desperately wants to meet Blue in person but Blue isn’t ready yet. Who is Blue?

Oh my gosh, this book is so sweet. Simon is simply adorable and so is Blue. Their emails to each other chronicles not only the two of them slowly falling for each other but also their struggles of when and how to come out to their families. They both had such authentic teenage voices, which makes sense because Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist specializing in teenagers.

This book is not just about Simon’s emails to Blue. It’s also Simon’s life as told in first person by him. The group dynamics of Simon and his best friends Leah, Abby and Nick are complicated and made more complicated by the fact that his friends don’t know about Blue or even that Simon is gay.

I must be getting old because I totally related to Simon’s parents. They were fairly one-dimensional, which made sense because teenagers are generally self-centered and don’t know or care about their parents’ personal lives if it doesn’t directly affect them. One thing we do know about Simon’s mom is that she makes everything a BIG DEAL – even the fact that her baby boy Simon drinks coffee now. When did that start?? That is me one-hundred percent. I could hear my own son’s voice whenever Simon told his mom to STOP and CALM DOWN. I imagine Albertalli saw this in her clients’ parents as well.

It’s refreshing to read a YA novel about teen romance between gay boys. It showed that in many ways their struggles are not so different than those of straight teenagers. They are all trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in. They all experience love for the first time at some point. It’s the details of these struggles that are different. I loved this book and wanted to give it and Simon a great big hug when it was over. Both teens and adults will enjoy this book. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member Kiddboyblue
Overall, I liked this book, though I wish I could have loved it.
As characters go, Simon ended up being a likeable one. Though, it jumped so fast into him being on edge, literally from the first page, that it was really difficult for me to understand him or his motivations. He seemed to act more like a middle schooler than a high schooler most the book. I wish there had been an introduction to him in the beginning so that they cute, adorable and like able version I saw in the last fourth of the book would have been prevalent the entire time. As it was, I found him hard to root for for the first portion because he just seemed like not all that good a friend.
The email chapters were my favorite, and watching the romance unfold that way was unique and charming. It was those that opened me up more to Simon as a character as he tended to let his guard down more and to open up more.
I thought it was well written, and had some great themes about coming out, friendship, family, etc. that worked well within the story. It definitely had a high school feel and centered mostly on this person likes this person, who actually likes this person, but did over here, this person likes this person. I want to pretend that is not what high school was about for me, but in all honesty it probably was. So I suppose Albertalli writes a pretty great depiction of high school.
It was a quick and enjoyable read.
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LibraryThing member EdGoldberg
Simon is being blackmailed by Martin, the class clown. It seems that Simon wasSimonVsTheHomosapiens indiscreet enough to email his virtual boyfriend, Blue, from the library computers and forgot to log out. Martin used the computers, read the emails and threatened to out Simon unless Simon extolled Martin's virtues to Abby, Simon's close friend. Since neither Simon nor Blue have come out, Simon feels trapped. The problem is that Abby likes Nick.

Meanwhile, all that Simon knows is that Blue goes to his school, so as he walks the halls, attends play practice, and eats lunch in the cafeteria, he's trying to figure out who Blue is. It could be any one of a number of people, even Martin!

Throughout all of this, Simon must negotiate his junior year of high school, deal with his very strange family, and the ups and downs of friendships.

Although I read David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy ages ago, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda brought that book into my mind. Simon lives in world with little homophobia. When Simon does come out to friends and family, it causes little ripples vs. tidal waves of emotion. It is giving nothing away to say that Simon's and Blue's meeting is a happy occasion...very romantic. It is the journey towards meeting and the mystery of who Blue actually is that is the fun of the book.

Becky Albertalli knows what she's talking about with Simon. Among other jobs, she was a counselor for seven years to a support group for gender nonconforming children. Her understanding of the subject matter is evident. Her characters are fun and evoke emotions that all teenagers go through, regardless of gender identity.

It's nice, every now and then, to read a gay/lesbian romance that merely deals with the trials and tribulations of the romance itself (which, in and of itself carries with it enough mine fields) and not necessarily the gender issues. If you're looking for just a fun romance, try Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
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LibraryThing member christynovelink
THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS! It’s so amazing and all I want to do is shout THIS BOOK, and GO READ IT, but I’m going to try to come up with a little more for my review, but fair warning, it’s probably going to be a little fangirlish because…this. book.

Unless you’ve haven’t been on Twitter or Goodreads the last few months, then I’m sure you’ve seen all of the hype surrounding Simon, and if you’re anything like me, that hype scares you. Hype scares me because I get so excited for a book and the expectations of it is so built up in my mind, that a lot of the time, hyped books fall short. Thankfully, this didn’t happen with Simon and once I started it, I could immediately see why there was so much hype around it.

Simon is such an amazing character, and he was so easy to like. He’s smart, and funny and a genuinely good guy. Simon grows so much as a character and he learns that it’s ok to be yourself, and the people that really love you will always be there for you. Simon’s family and his friends also added so much to this story and I adored every one of them.

I also loved the way the book was set up. Each chapter alternates between emails and Simon’s POV. As the summary says, the email exchanges between Simon and the mysterious ‘Blue’ grow more and more flirtatious as the story goes, and with that my curiosity grew right along with them. The suspense killed me, I couldn’t wait to discover who exactly ‘Blue’ was and of course I was suspecting everyone, regardless on whether or not things added up.

Aside from the flirting that we get to witness in the email exchanges, we also get to see a deep connection form and I loved the fact that the connection was built on actual conversations and them getting to know each other without actually ‘knowing each other’.

Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is such a freakishly cute story that will leave you with a smile on your face and ALL THE FEELS. Albertalli writes a wonderfully written, absolutely adorable book that deserves all the hype.
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LibraryThing member jfaltz
I love the characters in this book the same way I loved the characters in Eleanore and Park.
LibraryThing member mariannelee_0902
“Sometimes it seems like everyone knows who I am except me.”

I don’t even know how to start my review without sounding like a total mess.

I mean this book was, for lack of a better word, amazing. It wasn’t a “gay” book. And what I mean with this is that it didn’t include a LGBT protagonist for the sake of “diversity”, but because DAMMIT a gay character is not always the stereotyped character we see in movies and tv.
“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn't be this big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I'm just saying.”

It showed us how normal it is to be a gay person in a (mostly) straight high school. How they don’t need to be overly eccentric or how there is literally nothing that makes them look different from non-gay people.

I loved that this book tackled everything from romantic relationships to family relationships, to even platonic relationships. Not to mention Simon most definitely would take the award for my favorite male protagonist. He’s so unflinchingly honest and clever, he likes Harry Potter, he’s nonchalantly cool and collected, he has almost-perfect grammar! I love Simon. I actually wish he were my best friend. Reading this book is much more than just reading about something that’s happening to some boy. It’s about being there with your best friend and supporting him on his journey.

I loved the little email exchanges between Simon and Blue. We never know who Blue is until the end of the book, but we get to know him almost as well as we do Simon. We get to see how Simon and him slowly fall for each other, and how their friendship slowly grew into something more.

This book isn’t all about the normal-ness and acceptance of gay people, but it also shows that there’s a nasty side. There's mocking, name calling, stereotyping, and hurtful language. Becky Albertalli makes us feel genuinely hurt as we see that things like this still exist. We see homophobia in a different light; we see it as something that could honestly happen to anyone, anyone we love like a brother or a best friend, and seeing our best friends or brothers being treated like that seriously sucks.
“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it's a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

I honestly love this book. I don’t know how my review can bring it justice, but if I even made you just a little bit curious about it, please check it out. This is a brilliant debut by Becky Albertalli, and I cannot wait to see what else she comes up with.
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LibraryThing member franoscar
I guess this is a YA book. Might be spoilers. This is a cheerful book (mostly) about a very modern & multicultural world. Although there wasn't a transgender kid. And it is very current; in 2 years things will have changed. (Some of the plot revolves around the school tumblr space.)
LibraryThing member ShellyPYA
Closeted 16-year-old Simon Spier must find a way to reveal his homosexuality before the owner of an anonymous Gmail account reveals the truth?and ruins the life of the boy Simon has been emailing.
LibraryThing member kimpiddington
Snappy pace kept me turning the pages-and I liked the emails interspersed throughout the text. However, it seemed a little odd to me that everything-every plot arc-wrapped up so nice and neatly at the end-with everybody happy and getting what they wanted. I'm not sure how Simon's love interest went from being afraid to actually meet him- to being openly gay-willing to hold hands/kiss in public-so quickly.… (more)
LibraryThing member simple_kind
The one thing part in this book that got to me more than any other part was when Simon was thinking about why straight is the normal. Why shouldn't everyone have to "come out" whether they are straight, bi, or homosexual. Why is everyone assumed straight until they decide to tell everyone they are not. I feel like this about sums up the book. Simon is unsure if he should tell his friends and his family. But why should he have to? And why should he be afraid to meet Blue (whom he only has an online relationship with)?… (more)
LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
This is a very compelling look at a teenage boy’s decision to come out and to having his first boyfriend. Simon has it all – he is cute, funny, talented, and has lots of friends. However, he has a secret e-mail relationship with another boy known only as Blue. These e-mails reflect where each boy is in his story of coming out to family and friends, as well as how their feelings for each other increase as they share their lives. This book is well written with characters one can’t help but love too!… (more)
LibraryThing member waclements7
This lives up to all of the praise it's been given, in a big way. It's a really awesome, well-written story of Simon, a 17 year-old boy from near Atlanta, Georgia, and how he comes out. A combination of narrative and emails, the characters are wonderfully portrayed--funny, realistic, and heartfelt. Simon's family is a trip, and everyone has their own little secrets. Well, almost everyone. Bieber pretty much wears his heart on his leg. ;-)… (more)
LibraryThing member pennma05
I have been hearing a lot about this book for awhile now and really wanted to read it. But I've been trying to be better about buying books so I was hoping my library would get it. The other day I decided to try looking again they had it in hardcover AND ebook! I decided I couldn't wait until I got home from work to check it out so I went with the ebook.
Simon was such a great character! He was funny, quirky, nerdy and just plain lovable. I loved his relationships with his friends and family. It seemed so real. I felt I could totally relate to him and his friends. When I started reading the emails between Simon and Blue I immediately wanted them to meet and get together. They were so cute and I loved their witty banter. I had so many moments where I was laughing, well more like giggling, out loud or even just smiling to myself while reading! At one point I felt I knew who Blue was and was hoping like hell I was right... and I was! So happy about who he turned out to be! Total cuteness explosion when they finally got together in person!
I felt so many different emotions while reading this book: humor, happiness, sadness, empathy, anger, etc. I would say any author who manages to get their readers to feel right alongside their characters is a great one! I was 100% hooked on this book! The only thing I had a slight issue with was there were some places where one paragraph would be about something happening and then the next paragraph jumped hours or even days ahead. I would have liked those to be separated better and I don't know if that was just because of the ebook format or what. Not a huge deal though. This is a book I will be buying in the future so I can read it again!
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LibraryThing member jimrgill
What can I say about a YA novel that gets everything right? I suppose I could say that Becky Albertalli has magically and inexplicably managed to capture how it feels to be an extroverted but closeted teenage boy who falls in love in the most 21st-century way possible (online) and somehow manages to discover how to cope while maintaining his sanity and his sense of humor. Or I could say that the characters in this novel are real and honest and sweet and flawed and infuriatingly genuine. Or I could say that *Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda* brought tears to my eyes—something that very few novels have ever managed to do. But the best thing I can say is this—do yourself a favor and read this novel. It will make you laugh, it will make you smile, and it will make you feel. It will do to you all the things that a work of art is supposed to do.… (more)
LibraryThing member acargile
Realistic fiction suitable for high schoolers, this novel is very good with engaging dialogue and references to grammar that I enjoyed!

Simon knows he’s gay, but he hasn’t come out yet. It’s not a big deal in some ways because he knows his family will be good with it. It is a big deal in that some people still tease people meanly and bully people who are different from themselves. He sees a post on a website and responds to it. This other guy, Blue, and Simon begin emailing back and forth and slowly fall in love. The thing is that they don’t know who the other is. They only know they attend the same school, so much of the book is guessing who the guy could be.

Simon not only has a unique family, but he has great friends, Nick, Leah, and Abby. They are in high school preparing for a theatre production. Nick is a soccer player. Basically, they all support each other and get along pretty well. As Simon is battling within himself about Blue and who he could be, the other three have their own secrets.

Snappy dialogue and good pacing with good grammar make this a really good, engaging novel for high school students due to the language and some of the content. Therefore, we will not have this novel in the Hutch library, but I will say that it is quite good. I thought Simon’s potty mouth was at odds with this character, which would be my only real complaint.
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LibraryThing member Virago77
Unexpectedly Fun (Possible Spoilers)

I'm not sure what I expected when I decided I needed to read this, but this wasn't it. At the first few paragraphs I was disappointed. It seemed almost juvenile in how it was written. But the more I read, the more my mind changed.

This was a fun read; I couldn't put it down. I started it late thinking I would read a few chapters and then go to bed. But it didn't work that way for me. Here I am in the wee hours of the morning reviewing it because I couldn't stop reading until I finished.

I felt for Simon and wanted to murder Martin. But I also wanted to punch Simon. At the very least he should have told his best friend that someone was blackmailing him to get to her, but there wouldn't have been much of a story then. The blackmail debacle is what gave us time to get to know Simon and Blue as well as Simon's friends, who were important.

I hurt so bad when Martin outed Simon. I wanted to deep fry him, but I think we all knew it was coming. Martin was selfish and childish and could have been a good friend of not for his immaturity. All he cared about was what he wanted and I'm glad that Simon didn't forgive him in the end. Maybe he does somewhere down the line, like well into adulthood, but even that would be too good for him. What Martin did doesn't deserve forgiveness.

And as for Blue, I had a feeling all along that it wasn't Cal. For a half second I wondered about Nick, but when they described him having anime heart-eyes for Abby I knew it wasn't an act. In the end I suspected and even hoped for Bram because of the way Simon noticed him. He REALLY noticed him even if it was only in passing and that spoke volumes to me. I'm so glad it was him, and I'm so glad they worked out.

If nothing else this book had laughs and teaches the dangers of logging into private accounts on public computers. It should also teach people to think before you act, because there are some things you can't take back that could ruin other's lives. And the guilt is something you live with forever.
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LibraryThing member weeta
pretty adorable (got me right in my "it's absolutely possible to fall in love over email" soft spot)
LibraryThing member Othemts
Simon is a closeted gay teenager living in the Atlanta suburbs and finding himself falling in love for the first time. The problem is that the boy he loves he only knows through anonymous email exchanges. Over the course of this novel, both Simon and "Blue" end up coming out and eventually meeting in real life. But what's great about this novel is that it explores the changes and complications of life in Simon's circle of friends and family. The book has a lot of heart, romance, and humor.… (more)
LibraryThing member Narshkite
I am reading another book which is beautiful but very bleak. So I am having a not so great life at the moment, it will pass, all first world problems, but it is exhausting. I kept looking at this other book every night, and putting it aside and flipping on the television. My frayed psyche needed a book that was light, and sweet, and funny and one that reminded me that even when the assholes in your life loom so large it seems like all people are terrible that in fact most people are wonderful. This book did just that. (It also checked a box on my Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (LGBTQ+ romance.) And I could not be farther from the intended audience. I am a middle aged, straight, female and I do not like YA as a rule. But this story of connection just charmed me to my core. Extra points for the ATL references. It was funny, Aurora Coffee, Junkman's Daughter, and Waffle House were prominently featured but the author changed the names of Sandy Springs, Riverwood High, Charis Book Store (which is an awesome bookstore and could use the shout out), Einstein's, and a few other things. It was weird. Otherwise all good. If you want a short romantic read that will remind you why teenagers and their parents are great, this is it.… (more)
LibraryThing member jwhenderson
An appealing protagonist, Simon, is blackmailed with the threat of exposure as being gay. In a world where there are still sixteen-year-olds who are not willing to come out of the closet this is a book about the difficulties of negotiating the halls, both physical and cyber, of high school. The suspense regarding the status of Simon's hidden cyber-relationship and the ramifications of friendship and other problems of growing up are explored in this remarkable and clever novel.… (more)
LibraryThing member indygo88
High school student Simon is gay, though he's not come out to anyone yet, other than his maybe-boyfriend "Blue", who he is corresponding with via email. "Blue" and Simon go to the same school, but neither know who the other is, as their true identities remain anonymous. When one of Simon's peers gets a hold of one of his emails, his secret threatens to be revealed.

This book was a sleeper hit for me. I was intrigued by the "Love, Simon" movie trailer just recently released so I figured I'd read the book before the movie release in March 2018. I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, but I flew through the audio in only a couple of days. The cast of characters in this novel is brilliant, with witty banter reminiscent of John Green's writing. Simon is an endearing character whom you can't help but love, and his teenage crush on Blue, though sometimes overly dramatic, reminds me exactly of my own teenage years. As a reader, you're left guessing throughout the book as to Blue's true identity. This novel has a little bit of everything, and was thoroughly enjoyable. I hated to see it end.
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LibraryThing member ainjel
This is one of the cutest love stories I have ever read. I (surprisingly?) did not find it cheesy at all, and I found it so easy to love Simon and all of his friends. It's just a really great book, and a quick read, and it really warmed my stone cold heart.
LibraryThing member Kassilem
A very cute book. I was told to read it because it was funny and kind of up my alley. It was definitely up my alley, but I thought it more fun than funny. I did like Simon's sarcastic nature, and while there was more vulgarity present than I'm usually used to in YA books, it fits in well. This is clearly a book of this generation. It actually does a really good job of bringing this decade to life, showing it off in a good light, something I don't see a lot of. Things are wrapped up very nicely at the end and I didn't finish it thinking I wanted anything else to resolve, which is also kind of rare these days in my reading. It's a very nice addition to the mental bookshelf.… (more)
LibraryThing member Banoczi_Henrietta
THIS IS THE CUTEST THING I'VE EVER READ OH MY GOOOOOD it was definitely not what i expected but i loved it so much especially the last 20%

Original publication date

2015
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