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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Paperback – June 7, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Simon Speir, high school junior, walks away from his computer at school for just a moment, and that is when his biggest secret is discovered. He has been emailing a boy in his grade anonymously ever since a poetic waxing on his high school's gossip Tumblr caught his eye, and now Martin Addison has taken a screenshot and has a powerful way to blackmail Simon into getting his friend, Abby, to date him. Although it is filled with trendy pop-culture and digital-age references (Tumblr, Justin Beiber, The Bachelor, etc.) that may not stand the test of time, the message will resonate. Rife with realistic, high school relationships and drama, with a laugh or two at every turn, this is a coming-of-age, coming-out, and defying-the-odds story with which many teens will identify. With a very tidy, feel-good ending, the book will appeal to readers who enjoyed Tim Federle's Better Nate Than Ever (2013) and Five, Six, Seve, Nate! (2014, both S. & S.) and will find a familiar, slightly more mature home with Simon.—Brittany Staszak, St. Charles Public Library, IL --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Albertalli paints a stunningly three-dimensional, cliche-free world for Simon that bursts with unforgettable characters. Savor it, because you’ll read it for the first time only once. Worthy of Fault in Our Stars-level obsession.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Love child of John Green and Rainbow Rowell.” (Teen Vogue)
“Delightfully funny and at times heart-wrenching. Readers will ache for Simon’s awkwardness, cheer his small triumphs, but, most of all, fall in love with this kid and with this remarkable gift of a novel.” (Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle)
“Funny, moving and emotionally wise.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“I am so in love with this book.” (Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still)
“Debut novelist Albertalli writes believably in the voice of a confused, openhearted 16-year-old. Readers will fall madly in love with Simon.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Are we absolutely certain that Becky Albertalli didn’t just steal the diary of a hilariously observant teenage boy? Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a pitch-perfect triumph of wit and wordplay that feels timelessly, effortlessly now.” (Tim Federle, author of Better Nate than Ever)
“Though there are realistic moments of tension, the dominant sentiment here is the delicious excitement of finding your best self in the eyes of someone else; not since Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy have readers been treated to such a happy sigh of a book about two boys falling in love.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“I love you, SIMON. I LOVE YOU! And I love this fresh, funny, live-out-loud book.” (Jennifer Niven, bestselling author of All the Bright Places)
“Rife with realistic, high school relationships and drama, with a laugh or two at every turn, this is a coming-of-age, coming-out, and defying-the-odds story with which many teens will identify.” (SLJ)
“Becky Albertalli has written the best kind of love story: the kind in which you fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with each other.” (Alex Sanchez, Lambda Award-winning author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends)
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Top Customer Reviews
i’ve read other novels that are LGBTQ, but i’ve never read one that was as wholeheartedly and honest as simon vs. everything was so relatable. in other novels, it was clear and obvious the characters that were LGBTQ were sorta different: in the way they act, speak, dress, etc. etc. however in simon vs., that was most certainly not the case. after reading this novel, i’ve realized that people who are LGBTQ are just like everyone else. there really isn’t a difference between gays and straights, except the preference in gender; in the end, that’s all there is.
reading things from simon’s perspective, we could also see how the LGBTQ community is generally treated. it was beautiful to see people who were incredibly supportive, but also people who were just downright awful. i loved every bit of that. it was completely genuine and true. we saw everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
my favorite aspect of the novel was how casual simon and his friends spoke of being gay. they would often joke about it – but not in anyway i found insulting or condescending. people often make this a huge deal, which i suppose it is a big deal, but sometime it shouldn’t have to be a big deal. if you think about it, being gay/straight/etc is only a big deal because people make it a big deal. why should it really matter? it’s just a small part of who we/you are. i find it similar to a person’s race. for example, it’s not like you’re going to see someone and instantly judge them because of their race (if you do, then go away). the same should be said about a persons’ sexual orientation.
simon was an extremely sarcastic and funny character, so i couldn’t help but smile and grin the entire time. no, seriously, i couldn’t read this book in public because i would (literally) laugh out loud and smile to myself. people were definitely giving me strange looks, but i have no regrets because i looooooove it so much! (eventually i resorted to happily reading in my room.)
the main reason why i enjoyed this book so much was because IT WAS SO CUTE. the interactions between simon and blue made me want to squeal; i couldn’t help but root for them until the very end. the relationships between everyone were truly genuine and lovely and just.. *content sigh*. his family and friends were great and everything was <3.
simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda was like a diary. because the writing seemed like this, there were parts i really enjoyed, but also parts i didn’t like. i loved how we could hear and see simon’s internal dialogue. i mean, he’s hilarious and very relatable. i got to connect with simon much more because i knew what he was thinking. but, there were parts in the beginning i was left confused. since simon already knows these characters, there’s no introduction. we meet everyone and it’s like an information dump and you’re kind of left stranded like, “what’s going on?” also, there are less descriptions. i don’t describe people in my head, so it makes sense for the writing to be this way. but, i found it hard to visualize characters, places, etc.
it was a quick read, which has it’s good and it’s bad. it’s a wonderful book to read in between huge series because it’s quite tiny, but because of that you’re left wanting more. the book concluded wonderfully, but since it’s so short i feel like i need just *holds fingers .00001 cm apart* that much more.
overall, i loved this book. it was honest; it was hilarious; it was adorable; it was so much more. becky albertalli created a true masterpiece from beginning to end. with a easygoing prose, the story was filled with love, finding yourself, and truth for the LGBTQ community. i’ve come to realize that many people are simply ignorant to the way LGBTQ people are it may not be their intention to be condescending or offensive; they’re simply oblivious to it all. i would recommend this book to… um, everyone. *whispers* go read it.
originally posted on: http://www.twirlingpages.com/2015/04/23/review-simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agenda-becky-albertalli/
One great thing about having a bunch of authors on my Facebook friend list is that a lot of them post links to books they’ve read and recommend. The other day, one of them posted a link to this book on Amazon. He stated if anyone hadn’t read this book, they needed to. OK, I figured, I usually get my books for free through our blog and then write an honest review on them. But this time, I hit one click. It was only $1.99, so I figured what the heck, not a huge investment.
I’m glad I clicked on it, but I’m not 100% sure what all the hype is about. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, was an entertaining, young adult level book. We meet then sixteen-year-old Simon Spier, a gay, but in the closet, young man who has been corresponding to another teen on line via email. They use anonymous names and although they know they go to the same school, they don’t know who the other is.
One day Simon leaves the computer too quickly and forgets to close down his Gmail account all the way. Another teen, logging onto the computer, sees the email history between Simon and the other teen, who goes by “Blue”, and prints it out. Simon has something the other boy, Martin, doesn’t have. Lots and lots of friends, and one girl in particular that Martin has a serious crush on.
Blackmail ensues, and Simon works to have his secret not be released to the whole world. What follows is a coming out tale, with a little drama and a happy ending. That said, I did have some issues with this story, which have to push my rating down. As someone who went through the “forced out” process when a friend reported me to the military and it led to my public outing and eventual discharge, I had a LOT of angst. Granted he is 16/17 and I was 21, but I think I know what I’m talking about here. There is no way that a kid being outed to his entire school would be so calm about it. The instant acceptance by all friends, family members, teachers, and most of the student body was unrealistic and the bullying events were downplayed. I found it particularly unrealistic since it took place in Georgia, which isn’t known for its liberalism.
This book reads like it is written for high school students, maybe to be read in class. It is too sweet, too understanding, and just too much. We’re in love and it is happily ever after doesn’t happen in the real world like it did in this book.
I thought the book was good. I’m going to rate it 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. I liked it, and it showed above average writing, but it could have used some real life angst thrown in to make it a much better and more realistic book. It was too much rainbows and unicorns and cotton candy for me. Final opinion…too sweet and not really enough substance…kind of like those ABC After School Specials that used to run back in the eighties.