Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (5 out of 5)

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Sixteen year old Simon Spier is gay. He’s not so comfortable that’s he’s openly gay, however. He spends a lot of the beginning of the book worrying that it will get out into the open, or worse yet, he’ll not log off of his computer and someone will figure it out and use it to “blackmail” him. I air quote blackmail, because Martin, the kid who knows, asks Simon to get him in more with a girl that he digs. Simon probably wouldn’t be too worried normally if the identity of “Blue”, the young man with whom he’s enamored, was safe. However, in class clown Martin’s hands, who knows whether or not the secret stays safe with them, or will he tell everyone? Simon now has more reasons to worry.

The thing about this goof-up on Simon’s part is that he and Blue were just getting more comfortable and flirty, via email, when this happens. His attempting to help Martin and save his secret results in some real bang-up dynamics in his friend’s circle. This is a great story for an ages-old dilemma for teens. If you’re gay, do you feel comfortable enough coming out to your friends? To your schoolmates? To your family? You are cheering for Simon and Blue’s unconventional relationship from the start. I say unconventional because it blossoms while emailing. Simon is a great character, unabashedly fun and friendly, while being realistic and a biting sense of humor for a high school junior. I didn’t want to like Martin, with his blackmailing, but I ended up even liking that little twit by the end of the book.

This is a fun, uncompromising look at teens, sexuality, and how society makes people with different sexual orientation often feel as if they have to keep their true selves hidden from public view. Not easy, and not fair. It’s a tough world out there, and this book does a great thing with addressing it, but not losing any sense of fun. There are only a few times in this book where you feel as if things take a serious turn, but still, Simon and his cohorts are so much fun, it’s hard not to love the book. The ending? I think you’ll approve.

 

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~ by generationgbooks on August 23, 2014.

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