This Review contains spoilers.
“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.”
Published: 2015, by Penguin.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Contains: Strong Language, Homophobia
‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ tells the story of Simon Spier, a high-schooler who is sure of his sexuality yet wants to keep it to himself. The only person he’s managed to tell is someone he met online and emails often, an anonymous boy who refers to himself as Blue. However, after class acquaintance, Martin, accesses his emails and screenshots them, he’s blackmailed into helping him get a date with a friend so his sexuality remains private.
I’ve heard so many good reviews on this book, seeing people blog quotes and discuss their excitement for the upcoming film, Love, Simon. It’s been waiting unread on my bookshelves for so long, and I finally had the chance to read it and understand people’s enthusiasm. However, I’m honestly a little underwhelmed.
Overall, the story line and Simon’s character was really enjoyable to read. I love first-person novels and Simon’s narrative was really cute and enthuses a lot about pop culture, so it was really easy to relate to his adorable character. Yet, those around him were fairly 2D in comparison. Simon’s friends and his enemy in this book were very undeveloped, which spoiled the narrative at times as I felt nothing for their character. For example, towards the end of the story Leah admits her troubled home life which explains her actions throughout the story up to that point. However, she was hardly mentioned and had no involvement within the main plot, so I couldn’t feel anything towards her. There was also occasions where his family would intervene or another character from his drama class would have a section of dialogue, and there was multiple instances where I had to break for a minute to recall who they were due to how little importance they had to the story. Simon’s character seemed to be the only one developed enough to feel any emotions for.
However, the main reasoning for the disheartened emotions towards this book was Blue, Simon’s love interest. The intention of this story was to involve yourself in the narrative and try and pick and discover the identity alongside Simon. However, a few chapters towards the end his identity is revealed to be Bram Greenfield; a clear background character up to this point. The only mention of Bram I can recall is how he appears whenever Garrett is near, a school athlete who Simon interacts with at during school lunch on occasion. I found it so frustrating and underwhelming at this reveal, there was so many better contenders who had actual purpose within the story before; Nick, Cal, even Martin would have been a more entertaining reveal than him. His character is very sweet, and there’s clear attraction towards Simon, however, how can he return those feelings when there’s around three lines of dialogue between the two since the start of the novel? I understand how they’ve been returning emails throughout the piece, yet he had it clear he didn’t consider Bram at all.
Cal’s character, however, is probably my favourite, and although his purpose is of no importance to the story, I’m a sucker for a cool, confident character. Although, Simon appeared to have an interest in him, and their interactions were extremely adorable to read, the moment he discovered he wasn’t Blue he instantly became a background character again. Very frustrating.
Overall, this story was cute to read regardless of his faults. I loved the descriptions of sexuality and the emails shared between the love interests. However, personally, it didn’t live up to the high expectations I had for it.