Thursday, 26 November 2015

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trigger Warnings: -
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
This is quite possibly the most uplifting book I've read this year. Everything I have read of late has had an element of darkness, and whilst not all of the books I have read have been outright sad, Simon vs. filled me with such heart-warming optimism. I'm not even a huge fan of contemporaries or romances as my experience of both genres has been largely negative, so I did not expect to fall in love with this book the way I did.


Simon is comfortable with his own sexuality, but he doesn't want to make it everyone's business. The only person who knows is Blue, his online pen pal who understands what it's like (and who he might have a bit of a crush on). But when one of his emails falls into the wrong hands, Simon finds himself being blackmailed. Either Simon helps wingman for his blackmailer, or the whole school will know he's gay.

What first grabbed my attention was how perfectly the author nailed Simon's voice. Not once did I think he said something out of character for a teenage boy. Many contemporaries have unrealistic voices for teenage characters and either make them sound too childish or far more melodramatic than how people actually speak. But Simon's voice completely nailed the sheer awkwardness of being a teenager. He makes mistakes and occasionally says dumb things, but that is what makes him an incredibly relatable protagonist.

Another great aspect of this book was Simon's relationship with Blue. It is utterly adorable and despite neither knowing the others identity, they slowly fall in love from the inside out. Something so comforting was that Simon's sexuality was not made into a big deal. It was a coming out story that could be put on par with any other YA romance because of the overwhelming sweetness of the characters and the book as a whole. And even though the love story made up a large portion of the book, there was still focus on the non-romantic relationships between characters that showed the complexity of friendships and family dynamics.

Simon vs. is refreshingly different from my typical read. It's charming and fun and will guarantee to make you feel all warm and happy inside.

What are your favourite contemporary romances?

You can find this review on Goodreads.

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