Book Reviews

Book Review: Simon vs.the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Summary: 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 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.
Check out my review for Love, Simon here.
The Characters. I really like Simon. I think he’s a great kid, he’s funny, witty and quite lovable, my only problem with him is that he doesn’t fight back enough with Martin because you not about to hold anything like that over my head. But anyway, I liked in ways how he looked at the world, all the references, it felt like I was in the head of a teenage boy sometimes (I’ll mention more about this later). I also really liked Abby and Nick. Abby was just this bundle of joy who had a lot of things she kept secret, but she just had a positive outlook in everything and I loved her friendship with Simon. Nick wasn’t as prominent as Abby, but he seemed like a cool guy. I also really liked learning about Blue and later when we meet him, you already like him that when he physically is around, you like him even more.
The friendship. The friendship between Simon, Nick and Abby particularly is some of the best in the story. I don’t mind Leah, but I think I liked her better in the movie than I did in the book, she was too negative for me. But anytime Simon and Nick just hung out, I thought it was handled well and they seemed liked they’d been friends for years and I liked that Abby was just this bundle of light and joy that both Nick and Simon gravitated to without even thinking. I really loved the moment where Simon and Abby talk in the car, it was sweet, and I thought Abby was a great friend in that moment, even if she’d only been around for about four months.
Blue and Jacques. I think one of the best things about this book is the relationship we see develop between Blue and Jacques through the emails. Obviously, Jacques is Simon and we find out who Blue is later, which I don’t want to spoil for those who haven’t seen the movie or read the book. but I thought they were super cute and they had a nice little banter. We got to see and learn way more about Blue so in ways you learn to really like him just about as much as you may like Simon. When they finally meet (spoilers? lol) it’s still cute and I have to say they have good chemistry. You get hints throughout the story who Blue might be, you just must pay close attention.
Humor. I have to say this book is funny. I thought the movie was cute and funny but considering how Simon is a little potty mouth, I thought his voice was funny in the book. I laughed quite a bit at some of the things he thought about, or the things he would say aloud. Even his family was a bit ridiculous that I laughed at them. I think if you want some lighthearted humor but also some sardonic humor, this book has it in there just for you.
Nothing Really Happens. I didn’t really think about this until after I finished the book, but nothing really happens. Sure, there’s the blackmail and the emails but outside of those things, that aren’t always in the forefront, nothing happens. I wasn’t engaged the entire time. I didn’t want to give this its own point, but I didn’t always buy Simon’s voice. Not always. There are times where I was very aware it was a woman writing him. I don’t think everyone can do voices that aren’t like them consistently.
The Blackmail story line. I didn’t like it in the movie and I don’t like it in the book. It was an addition that wasn’t needed, and I think it was mean spirited. I get the whole “Martin took away Simon’s choice to come out when he was ready” but that didn’t sit well with me at all. It just seemed like something that the author felt would make Simon seem like a victim. He was already struggling enough with wanting to tell his friends and family about his sexuality, it could have just been a journey like that instead of making it worse by taking the choice away from him. It really bothered me. Plus, the fact that Simon went along with it, you have a choice. No one had to know what the emails were about, he could have told someone and said, “this kid is trying to post my personal emails out for everyone to see if I don’t help him date my friend.” Sure drama, but I don’t like it. Not to mention, he starts to see Martin like a friend and then later even kind of agonizes over the fact that Martin could be Blue. Just… ugh. I hated all of it.
Martin Addison. I HATE this kid. In the movie, he was kind of likable because the actor made him likable, but I hate him, and it really bothered me how easily Simon just fell into this trap with him. I think the story could have still happened without his whole side plot, it was just extra drama that I think was unnecessary. He kept bringing up for Simon to meet his brother, who he said was also gay, and he would ask Simon who Blue was, and he wanted Simon to pair him up with Abby, but it was obvious that Abby did not like him that way. Later, when he gets mad at Simon for not “doing his job” or that he thinks Abby and Simon have a thing and he’s being played and retaliates in such an awful way. Ugh, awful character. AWFUL! What makes it worse is that it seemed like the author tried to make him likable because Simon would rationalize things about Martin, and I just… ugh, awful! I don’t care about his apology AT ALL.
Overall, I quite enjoyed myself reading this book. I think it’s a fun and quick read and the characters for the most part are likable people, especially Simon, Nick and Abby and of course Blue. I think the book is funny as Simon is quite the potty mouth and his reactions to things cause for a lot of humor. I also really love the friendship that Simon has with his friends and the romance that we see grow between Blue and Simon is also handled well. However, I do really dislike the blackmail story line of the book, I think it’s mean spirited and unnecessary. I also HATE Martin Addison, ugh what a terrible character, I felt like the author tried to make him likable and endearing and it did not work for me. But I still enjoyed the book overall.
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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