Books, LGBT

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – 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.

This is the second book we’re reading for Lizzie’s book group. The first meeting was so much fun – I got to meet new people. I got to go to Harrow, where I have never been, and as the only person I know who lives there is kinda fancy, I thought it would be fancy, but it’s actually mostly like Croydon (where I live). We got to discuss a book in lots of detail. I felt like an old lady when Nell pointed out that half of us were older than the characters in the book, and half were younger. I bought three books, and I finished them all within two weeks. We accidentally and fortuitously went to a poetry night in an icecream shop. Joy!

I liked this a lot. It made me feel warm and squishy, but was also realistic and honest about the homophobia that still very much exists in our society, and especially among teenagers. Often, people seem to like to think that homophobia is exclusive to old people, that it’s not a big deal, but that’s very much not the case, as we know. But it was hopeful, and lovely, and also had a lot of awkwardness, which I really appreciate in YA – if you’re not unbelievably awkward, are you really a teenager?


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