by Becky Albertalli
To be published on April 7, 2015
by Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.My take: Last week, I wrote about my love for books with male narrators. Not only does Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda feature one of my favorite new guy narrators of all time, it's just such a fantastic book -- funny, relatable and moving.
Simon's a high school student who is thinking about coming out. But there are some complications:
He's exchanging flirty emails with a mystery guy who isn't sure he's ready to reveal himself.
"He's someone. He may even be someone I know. But I don't know who. And I'm not sure I want to know."Three of his friends have developed an awkward friendship triangle, and he's stuck in the middle.
"I have a policy of not falling for Nick. But Leah has fallen. And it's caused all kinds of problems, especially now that Abby's in the picture."His family should be supportive -- except that, like everyone's family, they see him in a certain way and shut him down every time he tries to show them that he has other sides to himself.
"They put me in a box, and every time I try to nudge the lid open, they slam it back down. It's like nothing about me is allowed to change."And he's being blackmailed over the aforementioned flirty emails.
"I seriously can't believe I'm having this conversation with Martin Addison. Of all the people who could have logged into Gmail after me."All these elements are balanced so beautifully together into a story that's just sheer YA perfection, a perfect blend of awkwardness, humor, adolescent angst, friendship, romance... this book has it all. I had my theory about who the mystery emailer, a.k.a. Blue, was, but I was completely wrong. (highlight for spoiler) I thought he was Martin, who was using the blackmail to get to know Simon. But I was kind of glad to be wrong. (end)
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is among my favorite books of 2015 so far. I highly recommend it. I'll be giving away an ARC on Freebie Friday this week, so if you're interested in giving it a try, be sure to stop by!