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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (2015)

by Becky Albertalli

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Creekwood (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6412122,905 (4.22)62
"Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity--and that of his pen pal--will be revealed"--
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» See also 62 mentions

English (207)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Now that the film has been released to great reviews and I'm finally going to watch it tomorrow in a preview (because of course, the movies I am anticipating the most are always released three months later in Germany than in other countries), I decided to revisit the book and realized once again what a great coming-of-age book this is. My original review didn't pay Becky Albertalli's book justice and was pretty badly-written anyway, so here is a little rewritten version of it.

The story is rather simple and if you have read a few reviews of the book or the film before, then you will probably know what it's about anyway. The book's main character, sixteen-year-old Simon Spier, is struggling to enter the world of adulthood with all the problems romance may bring into a teenager's life, and it's no 'typical' way of entering, because Simon is gay and has to decide about whether or not to come out to his friends, his family, his school colleagues. Becky Albertalli emphasizes the issue of coming out and raises an important question: If gay people have to come out, why don't straight people? Why shouldn't everyone have to come out, no matter which type of sexuality they identify with? Or let's put it another way: why should anyone have to come out? Why create such a big thing out of it, why not make it possible for people to say, "by the way, I like men" or "by the way, I like women" or "by the way, I like both genders" or all the other possible forms of sexuality?

I'll try to include a little personal back story now; if you aren't interested in that, don't continue reading. This book has shaped me a lot. It supported me during a period of some personal struggles, and even though at the time I didn't realize it yet, it helped me a lot during my process of coming out myself. Here in Germany, compared to other countries, coming out as gay isn't much of a problem anymore, at least it isn't in the urban parts of the country, but anywhere else, it's still pretty much an overlooked subject. A lot of people just don't give it a second thought, hang on to their preconceived belief that since gay people are different in one certain matter, they are worse human beings. Coming out still isn't simple. It may be for some people, but there are always exceptions in a positive as well as a negative direction. I believe that many people share the point of view that it's okay as long as they are not bothered by it, and that's part of the problem, in my opinion, especially in rural parts of the country. I don't care if people feel bothered by others, as long as they remain silent about it if they are not personally affected by the matter, but why are there so many people who can't accept that others are happy with the kind of life they're living?
What I'm trying to say is, stories like "Love, Simon" are so incredibly important: they raise awareness of the subject, because even though it's always an argument that there are more important problems in the world and gay people already have enough rights, things just aren't that simple. Coming out simply isn't that simple. I learned that myself, and others may have had even more difficulties.

“But 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.”

“I mean, I feel secure in my masculinity, too. Being secure in your masculinity isn't the same as being straight.”

“It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don't fit that mold. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.”

(I totally agree with that last quote; awkwardness is basically the one part of coming out which is constantly accompanying you.)

This book made me incredibly happy when I read it. Is it the most realistic story? No. But it's a feel-good story the LGBT community really needed, and everytime I think about it, I still find myself smiling, even though it has been more than two and a half years since I first read it.

Because, in its very own way, this book was perfect. ( )
  Councillor3004 | Sep 1, 2022 |
I read this book because someone I follow on tumblr kept blogging about it. I don’t usually read contemporary novels but I really enjoyed this one.

Simon and Blue are both very likeable and realistic and I loved how they fell in love despite not knowing who the other was. Someone spoiled to me who Blue was before I read the book, but the first meeting was very sweet nonetheless.

I did not know how to feel about Simon’s friend group. They started out as the type of friend group that exists in books and movies but not in real life. Too close. Too supportive. Too friendly. I rooted for Leah the first half of the book (Abby did seem a little like an intruder to their friend group) but I liked Abby better than Leah in the second half. Abby was so very supportive of Simon that I could not not like her while Leah was not that nice anymore.

I also did not know what to make of the cursing. I’m not a big fan of profanity but it did make the book ten times more realistic. ( )
  MYvos | Sep 1, 2022 |
I’ve been meaning to read it for ages and finally got my hands on a copy. Simon and Bram are both so precious and such an adorable couple! Unfortunately, before I even started the book I already knew who Blue was due to having seen a post on tumblr about it so I didn’t have the mystery of wondering who he was, but it meant that I got to fully appreciate every time he was mentioned prior to the big reveal. Simon’s friends and family are realistic and are evidentially important parts of his life. It’s so nice to read a book that shows how important and wonderful other relationships are as well instead of just focusing on the romantic interest. ( )
  Oblivionsdream | Jul 18, 2022 |
UPDATE 2020
The more I think about it, the fewer warm feelings it gives me.
----------
Original review:
It has its issues, sure. But this book made me happy. ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
4.5 stars. It was really easy to get into this book. I had watched the movie, "Love, Simon" first, so got the general idea of what was going to happen in the book. Coming of age tale, coming out to family and friends, falling in and out of love and possibilities of life. The narrator was really good with voices, and I wondered if it was the actor who played Simon in the movie. ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Albertalli, Beckyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bouhon, MathildeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crouch, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herzke, IngoÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lo Porto, TizianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pulver, MarioTõLkijasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simó, VictoriaTraductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sonninen, LottaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staartjes, AstridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tamae-Bouhon, MathildeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weisz, BöbeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Brian, Owen, and Henry,
who are the reason I write love stories
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It’s a weirdly subtle conversation.
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"Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity--and that of his pen pal--will be revealed"--

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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.
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