Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title: Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Series: N/A

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: April 7th 2015


Five Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

There’s this pause. We’re still looking at each other. And there’s this feeling in my stomach like a coil pulled taut.
“It’s you,” I say.

So to start off my contemporary month I picked an amazing book. Everyone seemed to be raving about Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda on WordPress and I was curious enough to add it to my to-read list. I’d been meaning to start it for a while now, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and I finally got around to it. Simon Vs more than lived up to the hype, and I can completely understand why everyone loved it so much. As contemporary books go this one is incredibly sweet and it made me so happy reading it from start to finish.

Simon Spier is gay but no one knows; no one except Blue, the boy he’s been secretly emailing back and forth. However when Simon forgets to sign out of his Gmail account one day someone else gets their hands on Simon and Blue’s conversations and with them power over Simon. Martin uses the screenshots he took of the emails to blackmail Simon; unless he lets Martin hang out with him and his friends to try and woo Abby, Simon and Blue’s relationship will be posted all over Tumblr. Simon’s secret and his sexuality will be out in the open for the whole school to see.

With no other choice but to go along, scared that if Blue knows someone else has their emails Simon will lose him and their budding relationship, Simon starts bringing Martin into his circle of friends; inviting him to parties and offering to help him and Abby with their lines for the school play.

“And you know what? You don’t get to say it’s not a big thing. This is a big fucking thing, okay? This was supposed to be—this is mine. I’m supposed to decide when and where and who knows and how I want to say it.”

Despite not knowing anything about the other, not even their real names, as Simon and Blue continue to email their relationship becomes more and more flirtatious. And as Simon’s feelings for Blue grow he wants to meet him face to face, but Blue is happy with the anonymity.

Meanwhile struggling to deal with the pressures of coming out to his parents and friends and the threat of Martin hanging over his head the only thing Simon has is his emails with Blue. Until everything comes crashing when Martin goes a step too far and suddenly Simon is forced to face all his fears at once.

*Spoilers for Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda below*

Don’t get me wrong I in no way condone what Martin did to Simon but I would have liked to see some king of resolution between the two of them. It seemed like everyone got their ending but not Martin. When Simon and Martin were spending time together as Martin tries to woo Abby Simon begrudgingly admitted to liking Martin and, after what the latter did, there’s probably nothing that can fix what happened but the whole thing just seemed up in the air.

*End of spoilers*

…The Characters

“I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

Simon comes across at first as confident and sure of himself. He has a great family and great friends supporting him but the struggle he feels, hiding something so big from the people he loves, clearly weighs on him at times. The only person he really talks to about a lot of the things on his mind is Blue. Blue started off as Simon’s friend but the two become so much more the more they talk. Simon reveals a lot more about who he is in emails to Blue than he shares with his friends and family while hiding part of himself from them. Coming out as gay seems like a big deal to Simon, and it is, and he doesn’t want to face it yet.

The struggle Simon goes through, trying to keep his life together while being blackmailed by Martin and later after what Martin does is admirable. He bears a lot of weight but doesn’t let anyone try and help him manage it. Instead he simply does the best he can and tries his best to pick up the pieces afterward when things go wrong. He keeps his head up, even at his lowest he keeps going and I loved that about him. No matter what happened he had his family and friends and Blue supporting him the whole way.

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”

Blue was literally my favourite character, even though we mostly saw him through his emails. He was so sweet and almost shy in his conversations with Simon but he wasn’t afraid to share his feelings. Like Simon Blue struggles with coming out to his parents and in their conversations the two help and support one another as they overcome that obstacle. It is mainly their emails that prompt them both to broach the subject with their parents. Blue is the one reluctant to meet Simon face to face or exchange numbers; part of him fears their relationship will be different if they meet in real life which makes sense when it is revealed who Blue actually is.

Did anyone guess who Blue was before it was revealed?

“The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat—soft and persistent, underlying everything.”

The relationship between Blue and Simon was so sweet I was practically in a sugar coma by the end of this book. However there are other relationships explored in Simon Vs. Simon with his friends and family, Blue’s relationship with his parents which we read about in his emails, and all those relationships play such a huge part in this book as Simon struggles with coming out to the people closest to him.

…The Setting

“My limbs feel really heavy. I kind of want to go home and crawl into bed with my iPod. But the curtains start to open. And I keep moving forward.”

Simon’s high school could be anyone’s anywhere. The thing that really set this book apart for me was Simon’s struggle with his sexual identity and the fear he felt telling his family and friends about being gay. I loved the conversations both Simon and Blue had through their emails with one another about coming out because it felt so real for two people in high school struggling with telling the people they loved the truth about who they really are. It’s still common to hear stories about parents disowning their children for being gay so Simon’s and Blue’s fears were not completely unfounded. The whole coming-out part of this book was a major aspect of the story, and such a big thing for Simon and Blue, but it was very well written and handled by the author.

I adored this book. I couldn’t stop reading but I didn’t want it to end. The last few chapters were so sweet I wanted them to last forever; and after everything both Simon and Blue, and me reading their story, had been through I needed those end chapters. I would highly recommend this book, even if you’re not a fan of YA contemporary books this is a great one to start off with.

What did you think of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

22 thoughts on “Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

  1. Hello Beth!
    I’m so glad that you enjoyed this book! I actually listened to the audiobook version which was so amazing – it was the only audiobook that I finished in one sitting 🙂 I agree that I wished Martin’s character had a better ending. By the end of the story I felt that he was a likeable and sympathetic character but I feel bad that he doesn’t have a happy ending.
    As a side note, I really enjoyed the movie! I thought it was ingenious that they had different actors for the Blue in Simon’s imagination. The entire movie theatre cheered when Blue was revealed at the end 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, I guess that’s saying something about how amazing the book is and how good the audiobook is too. I’ve never tried an audiobook before but I want to. The Martin thing was probably my only complaint when it came to this book, and it’s a small one overall, but oh everything about the movie was great. Although no one cheered in the showing I was in (everyone is always dead silent in movies, we’ve got that whole silent and reserved thing going on over here in the UK!) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think audiobooks are great, especially when I am doing something else (cleaning or exercising for example!) and need something to entertain my mind. However otherwise I still enjoy reading physical books more 🙂
        Lol that is funny 🙂 Although it was a cool and emotional moment when everyone cheered, it can be distracting during the movie when you can hear people talking! (Even if they are trying to whisper) I always think that British people are sophisticated, you know?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah that’s a good point actually. Maybe I should look at downloading some for when I have other things I need to do as well. I could technically listen to a book while working if I wanted to! 🙂
        Ha, yeah that’s probably why we don’t. If someone tried something like that someone else would likely tell them to shut up. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Audiobooks are great for getting through mundane tasks haha. I think the hardest part is staying focused. My mind sometimes wanders especially during less exciting parts, and before I know it, I don’t have a clue what is going on! However I think it is worth a try since it can make an otherwise boring activity quite interesting 🙂 Do let me know how like it if you get a chance to try an audiobook!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah I get what you mean. I’ve never listened to an audiobook but I do listen to a fair few podcasts and there have been so many times I’ve had to re-wind because I’ve missed part of the story.
        Yep, definitely will! 🙂


  2. I completely agree! This was such a sweet and adorable book, and I am so glad you liked it as much as I did. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your reviews are absolutely amazing! I love how much thought and detail you put into them. I haven’t read this yet, but I really want to. I keep hearing so many good things and seeing this review and knowing how much you loved it has mad me even more excited! I think I might have to bump it up on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lauren 😀 I’m glad you enjoy my reviews so much! I studied English in my A levels so I think when I write posts for my blog everything I learnt just sticks in my mind!
      Simon Vs has so many great reviews and from what I read it more than deserves them all. The relationship between Blue and Simon was so amazingly cute and sweet but honestly all the characters were amazing in their own way!
      I’m so excited for you to read this book! I hope you love it as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great reveiw, I’m so glad you liked it, and hopefully this will be an awesome start to your contemporary month! 😀
    I have to agree with you about Martin, though, I would have loved some kind of resolution there, too. But it was such a cute book, I loved eevery part of it, it seemed just so genuine and REAL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marie! Yes this book was AMAZING! I wish I’d started it sooner honestly, and if the rest of the books I read this month are anywhere near as good as Simon Vs I may not want to stop reading Contemporary YA 🙂
      Yeah the way things ended between Martin and Simon was literally the only thing I would have preferred to have ended different, but the relationship between Blue and Simon was so sweet I felt like I was on the verge of slipping into a sugar coma. So sweet!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no, Simon was one of those books, somewhat rare, where the actual book more than lived up to all the hype surrounding it. Definitely one of the best contemporaries I’ve read, and I know what you mean, I can’t stop smiling thinking about the book, Simon and Blue either!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I’ve seen anything but positive reviews for this book! But from what I read it MORE thank lives up to them all.
      Oh May seems like so far away! I have a few books I’m waiting for to be released then, but I really hope you love it as much as I did when I read it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jorelene. I’m glad you liked my review so much and YES you should definitely read this book. Like you I’d heard nothing but great things about it and I was SO excited to read it for myself. It more than lived up to my expectations. The romance between Blue and Simon was so sweet, like living off nothing but dessert sweet!

      Liked by 1 person

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