Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3620
Perfect Across the Board
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Everyone, aka Lindsay Ribar and Dahlia Adler, told me that Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was a Christina book. While I totally love this, it also makes me nervous. What if I let them down? And Becky’s a local author, so disliking her book could be totally awkward and angst angst angst. I worried for absolutely no reason, because freaking obviously Dahlia and Lindsay were all sorts of right, and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is just the cutest freaking book.

First off, I love Simon. His voice is absolute perfection. I didn’t quite instalove on his narration, but I actually love that too. Simon takes time to open up to people. He’s not the easiest guy in the world to get to know, because he really doesn’t like having people all up in his business. While popular and friends with most everybody, Simon’s a bit reserved and judgmental. He’s a sweet guy, but he’s also stubborn and swears a lot, which also makes me love him even more.

The reason Simon’s so secretive, even with his best friends, is his family. He loves them, but they’re also overwhelmingly interested. I empathize, Simon. He holds information back because people make such a big deal about it and it really makes him nervous. The family dynamics are truly perfect, though. The whole family is so loving, which doesn’t mean perfect obviously. The parents are very present and do things like grounding their kids. Also, the family traditions like Facebook status hunting and Bachelorette viewing are so adorable.

Then there are the friend group dynamics. Simon’s closest friends have always been Leah and Nick, but, lately, Abby, a transfer, has become part of the group. It’s thrown off the dynamics in a big way, especially since Leah likes Nick, who likes Abby. Simon, in his typical way, is trying to avoid the drama getting to him, which in turn causes problems. Establishing groups of friends and actually giving all of them screen time is really tricky—there’s a reason most YA characters have a singular friend—but Albertalli really pulls it off. The tension between Abby and Leah is especially well-handled; it could easily have felt like girl hate, but it’s way more than that.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is framed around Simon’s email romance with a mystery guy he calls Blue. For about five seconds, I thought that was the guy’s real name and was doing some serious side-eye, but it’s all good. The rapport between Simon and Blue via email is super adorable. Though Blue doesn’t want to reveal his real identity, they also open up about a lot of stuff they don’t feel comfortable telling anyone irl. It’s so much easier to talk to people online, and that really makes their flirtation work.

The two talk a lot about coming out. Simon‘s sort of about that, but I’d say it’s more about finding yourself in general. Simon and Blue do come out over the course of the book, but it’s not a huge deal. I also like that Simon talks about how revealing anything new about himself feels like coming out, and that really everyone should come out, because there’s no reason to assume someone’s straight either. Albertalli also touches on the way that casual jokes that aren’t meant to harm can really be upsetting in Simon’s relationship with his dad. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is most definitely a fluffy romance, but it is also designed top open eyes and make people consider how heteronormativity continues to be an underpinning of society.

Simon, in trying to figure out who Blue is, checks out a lot of guys. I love this. He has someone he’s mentally chosen to cast as Blue in his fantasies, but he’s basically got minor crushes on several people. This is so true to my own teen experience and in YA characters are so often only into THE ONE. The dynamics in this book are just spot on. Also, I called the ship immediately and I was right and it was beautiful.

Finally, remember how I mentioned Albertalli’s a local author? I actually even picked this book up free at Decatur Book Festival last August. Anyway, it’s set in Atlanta, which is a special pleasure for me. I particularly delighted in the comment that this one kid has a southern accent and how weird that is. People from most anywhere else are always asking why I don’t have an accent. The novel also reflects the diversity I’m used to seeing in my daily life. Similarly, I think the reaction to Simon being gay fit pretty well with Atlanta and what things were like in my high school.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is so good that I spent the last half of the book literally yelling AWWWW at it out loud. This is not necessarily normal behavior for me. *shoves Simon at everyone*
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Faith has always known she was different and her...
The Mall
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...

Latest Member Reviews

Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
"SALTY, BITTER, SWEET is a book about family, forgiveness, grief, and following your passion. Isabella dreams of being a world-class..."
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
"MOST LIKELY is a fantastic YA contemporary about friendship. The book starts with a woman becoming president and reflecting back..."
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
 
4.7
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A book that should be on every teen's shelf. ..."
Serious Moonlight
 
5.0
"Birdie and Daniel has the most awkward first encounter. So when Birdie started her job in a historic hotel, she..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."
The Opposite of Always
 
5.0
"Opposite of Always is a heartfelt and stunning debut; that is worthy of all praise. I am in love..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
 
5.0
"Tyler Johnson Was Here--did not come to be politically correct, or racially ambiguous. Tyler Johnson came to tell an ugly..."
The Way You Make Me Feel
 
3.7
"Clara Shin is the class clown and definitely qualifies as a troll too. (Big difference between the two, I'm not..."
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me
 
4.3
"JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME is Gae Polisner’s most recent YA Contemporary novel. Like in her other books, she..."
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
"FINDING MR. BETTER-THAN-YOU starts off like a cheesy romantic comedy, but ends up being a lot more fulfilling light-hearted YA..."
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
"FREAKY IN FRESNO is a spin on the old novel, FREAKY FRIDAY. Ricki (nickname for Lyric) had a falling out..."