Thursday, May 14, 2015

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Title- Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Author- Becky Albertalli.
Publish date- March, 2015.
Publisher- Penguin.
RRP- $16.99 (AUD)


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
A cute book with adorable emails, oreos, theater, blackmail and fun times. Sibling relationships! Parent relationships! Romantic relationships! Friendships! It’s all here.

Thank you to Penguin Australia for this review copy!
Image source: Penguin.


What I thought:
I went into Simon vs. with utter confidence and intently high hopes, thanks to the very lovely Chiara, Nara and Cayce and the glorious (and gorgeous) reviews they wrote. I was twelve levels beyond sold. If I had a checklist it’d have everything ticked except for the fact it isn’t fantasy.
LGBT+? Done.
Heartfelt? Uh-huh.
Beautiful? Why yes.
Adorable? You needn’t ask.
Quotable? Didn’t you guess?

And, I mean, there are high stakes, too! And did it meet all these checks in my opinion? Apart, in most, from beautiful, uh… yes.
Simon is a… real character. Absolutely. He felt genuine for his life and age ad I never qualmed at his speech or thoughts. He was imperfectly wonderful. And I felt so anxious for him. It’s a long standing tradition that this is a novel best gone into with as little prior knowledge of plot as possible, and I’ll continue the tradition because I loved not knowing. I loved discovering the awkwardness, difficulty, adorable emails and pain, the longing that filled Simon’s life.

Blue and Simon were about as adorable as expected, more so about… halfway through the novel. They ooze, in a good way, and I got really into their letters. That whole aspect of the novel was thought provoking, thoughtful and kind of intense.

I don’t think I quite liked Simon as much as I’d hoped. Definitely not as much as the others I’ve read reviews from. I’m thinking Contemporary isn’t really my thing. But I’m so glad I followed the advice of my fellow reviewers, am so glad that this novel is out there, with it’s passion and humorously named dog and sweet sibling dynamic, which I absolutely would have liked more of, most of all it’s truths. While making no big statements or trying to change the expectations of society, Simon quietly thinks and considers questions I, too, question and consider, particularly notable is the reasoning behind coming out and why it’s not universally necessary, no matter your sexual preference. It’s the whole “straight until otherwise proven” debate, and I do love to see it questioned.

Rating: Ooh, very good.

I could definitely recommend this book, though not necessarily because it was unbeatable or the best thing I’d ever read. Because it was subtle and sweet and held so many truths. Now, checklists out!

16 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this one. Simon and Blue are just so adorable together, and I love the support system that he has. A lot of kids these days can only hope they have the same. :/

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    1. Aren't they? I adored the emails and the process of finding out who Blue might be. They were utterly adorable. I agree- Simon's support was pretty great when he opened up, though I liked the conflict there, too, with his parents and friends, all in relation to him keeping it a secret. It felt really real. xx

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  2. I still have yet to read this but I have a feeling I'd love it, not just because everybody said so, but it's about an LGBT guy coming out and embracing his sexuality while getting awesome support from the people around him and that's the kind I love reading about! Sorry to see that you didn't like this as much as you hoped you would, but a "very good rating" is still very good, too! ^^

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Oh, I hope you do read it and you do love it, Faye! I'll send you reading luck, to hope it turns out amazing. It's so fantastic that it's such an honest story that is a simple storyline, but done so genuinely, so well. There don't need to be these massive twists and literal cliffhangers. Life doesn't always have those.
      Yes! It certainly is! xx

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  3. ahh I love this book. More than you enjoyed it, I think!
    I'm glad you enjoyed it, even if you didn't quite enjoy it as much as I did! Totally agree that Simon was a fabulously developed character. The type of character you'd like to be friends with in real life, if you know what I mean :)

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    1. Sadly I think you did enjoy it more, but you also inspired me to read it and I really liked it, so I'm not complaining! Your passion for it was really incredible.
      Oh yes, totally get that. He is the kind of character it'd be awesome to share your thoughts with and just... chat with. I think he'd be really relatable. xx

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  4. YAY! I'm so glad you liked SIMON, Romi :D I'm sad that you didn't love it quite as much as you thought you would, but still super happy that you really liked it. And I'm humbled that my review persuaded you (in part) to pick it up ^.^

    I loved the questions that Simon brought up in his internal monologues - and I'm glad that so many people are reading it, and (hopefully) taking away some really important messages.

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    1. Yes! I'm so glad that all those spiffy reviews were a. read by my and b. so passionate. You really sold the deal, Chiara. Which happens most times I go to your blog and read a review.

      Right- he bought up arguments and discussions and it was so nice. Even when he didn't go into them. He left them and you could go into them yourself and discover your thoughts. It was really brilliant. xx

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  5. I've heard so many good things about this book - I hope to read it soon. It's good to read your review though since you didn't absolutely adore it, and perhaps I'll feel the same since contemporary stories are always my thing. I am interested in the characters though- they sound so appealing!

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    1. I'm glad my review makes you feel a little more comfortable with the prospect of going into this, Charlene. I'd nver really thought about it, but I had a brief run of contemporary around the time I read this and though I'm pretty quick getting through them, I just don't find myself getting really IN to them, or enjoying them nearly as much as other genres.
      xx

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  6. <3<3 This one just sounds so cute omg!! And I'm with you, contemporary isn't really my kind of thing either, but I just know I will end up enjoying this one as much as you have!

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    1. I hope so! It's a pretty great book, and with so many truly fantastic sentiments, I think it's something that can generally be widely appreciated and enjoyed. I look forward to hearing what you think of it! xx

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  7. I've read so many amazing things about this one but I'm not sure it's for me. A few others were talking about how it's really character driven and as someone who's more into plot, I might find it boring. However, since you give a sweet review, I might check it out <33

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    1. Well it definitely is character driven (I'm with you, I think, on preferring plot), but it's quite a memorable novel, and I would absolutely recommend it- I'm very glad, in fact, that I've made you a little keener to check it out! Score! Hope you enjoy it, if you get to it, Nova! xx

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  8. I know a lot of people have been loving this book so I am glad you were able to read it and enjoy it too! I am very picky with my LGBT books though, and have only read a select few that I have actually been able to like. Which of course, makes me wary going into this book. But it sounds like the characters are what really make this one, and the message it gives.

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    1. It's utterly gorgeous. I think it's always hard to freely go into a book, whether it be because of it's content, genre or age group, if you've had mostly bad experiences with other books like it. I know it can be difficult for me, but I do hope you give Simon a try, and find some other really amazing LGBT+ books out there that work wonders for you. x

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