book review

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Rating: 5 stars

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As is covered in a wide range of books and the media, one thing can be drawn from the high school experience – it’s a freaking weird deal. Trying to balance friendships and school work and any extracurricular activities is hard enough, without throwing in crushes or, y’know, the whole ‘trying to figure yourself out’ thing. And for Simon, his high school experience is pretty similar in those senses – apart from the minor detail that he’s being blackmailed.

Wait, what?!

Backstory: Simon likes Blue – however, their only correspondences are via email, and neither of them knows who the other really is. But when Simon forgets to log out of said email account, his conversation falls into the wrong hands, and he risks having his identity and feelings published online. Which would be, in Simon’s words, “a holy freaking huge deal”, especially considering that he hasn’t come out yet to his friends or family. Because, like I said, high school isn’t stressful enough, right?

What ensues is a brilliant, funny, sometimes painful, Oreo-filled account of Simon’s attempt to keep everything under control, and, honestly, I loved it all. As Simon falls for Blue, and as he desperately tries to work out who Blue is, Becky Albertalli perfectly captures it all. With Simon’s likeable personality, I was hooked from the first page (although I have to say, it definitely helped that Simon talks in fragmented sentences just like my friend does), and by the time I was a third of the way in I was desperate for Simon to get the ending he deserved. (Spoiler: he completely did.)

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was the perfect read. It had everything I could ever want in a novel – humour, love, Oreos – but also contained a cast of real, flawed characters, who I would love to be friends with (minus Martin, obviously). I can see myself finding a copy for myself asap, so I can read it again and again and again.

(And for those wondering, I totally bought a pack of Oreos specifically so that I could take that photo. Yup. That’s how invested I am in this book… Although it’s not like buying Oreos is a huge sacrifice. I will gladly take that one for the team.)

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