Book Review: SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli

Photo credit: Goodreads
So as is my MO, before I begin gushing about Becky Albertalli’s adorable Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, here is the Goodreads 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 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.”
So first and foremost, if you’re a YA author looking for an example of really spot-on boy POV, I can’t recommend Simon Vs. more. I was really really impressed with just how real Simon sounded, both in his head and in the dialogue—and the dialogue from the other characters was written just as perfectly. But don’t take my word for it. Both Adam Silvera and John Hansen said basically the same thing, and they have way more experience being a teen boy than I do. 

So awesome voice aside, Simon Vs. was just a really freaking adorable book. I connected to Simon immediately, it starts in the absolute perfect spot in the plot (another note to YA writer: this is how you start a book), and there were moments that were just so darn cute I was actually giggling and “aww”ing out loud. 

I don’t often pre-order books from authors I haven’t read before, but I made an exception with Simon Vs. and I’m so glad I did. I whipped through the pages quickly because I needed to know if I was right about who Blue was and I was dying to see Simon and Blue’s happily-ever-after, and I loved that all of the characters, including the minor ones, were complex, layered and realistic. I really don’t have any complaints about this book except, I suppose, that it’s a shame I won’t be able to read it for the first time again. 

If you’re looking for a happy, fun m/m YA romance, I couldn’t recommend Simon Vs. more. 5/5 stars to this one for sure, and I can’t wait to see what Albertalli comes up with next. 

Have you read any diverse YA recently? I’m always looking for recs! 

Twitter-sized bites: 
.@Ava_Jae gives 5/5 stars to SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by @BeckyAlbertalli. Have you read this cute m/m YA? (Click to tweet)     
Looking for an adorable m/m read w/ a great boy POV? Check out SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli. (Click to tweet)


Alyssa said...

I've heard SO MUCH about this book and I'm already 98% certain I'll love it. Even the fact that I'm not so much into sweet, fluffy romances hasn't daunted me. Now, just to get my hands on a copy ... and some Oreos, I believe.

Ava Jae said...

That's so interesting! I've been doing the scene method, and the chapter ends have still been fairly instinctual? But I think my "scenes" are more like markers than actual scenes (meaning that sometimes it's a scene and sometimes it's a compilation of scenes that satisfy a plot point), so that probably helps as far as Scrivener is concerned. I have had to split a couple times (because I ended up with a few chapters which were around 7k which, yeah, no lol), but overall I was surprised to see it worked relatively well.

That said, I tend to try to end scenes with some kind of hook in that may have helped.

Ava Jae said...

Those are all great chapter ending markers, Sam. Sounds like you're definitely on the right track. Happy revising! :)

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