#staffpick: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Check out this #staffpick from Noah! 

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Young Adult
303 pages
Romance/Coming-of-Age

Simon Spier is just like any other 16 year-old at Creekwood High, except when his alternate email account falls into the wrong hands, he risks having his sexual identity exposed to his whole school.

Not only are his own feelings and worries at stake, but also the connection he has with his anonymous online confidant and pen-pan, Blue.

Just when Simon was happy with how things were staring to progress and develop with Blue, everything might implode in an instant. How will he navigate the blackmail that so fragilely protects his identity, and that of his friend? 

Noah’s Thoughts

Predominantly a coming-of-age and romance novel, I found myself to be completely invested in Simon’s journey. In contrast to some other similar novels that I’ve read in the past, I found the element of blackmail in this story to not only add a layer of suspenseful interest, but it also created a division for me between characters that I supported and rooted for and ones that I found myself hating because of their actions. In my opinion, these feelings that I experienced only further showcase the mark of a successfully written book!

As an LGBTQIA2S+ reader, I am also always happy to find books that include content that represents my community. The struggles that Simon experiences (though evidently not representative of everyone’s experience) certainly do wonders to shed light on these important issues, and the unique struggles that LGBTQIA2S+ youth endure. In this way, this aspect of the storyline made this book all the more powerful for me! 

Finally, I really appreciated being able to make comparisons between this novel and its movie adaptation, Love Simon (2018). I read this book for the first time before it had been adapted for the big screen, and I had already greatly enjoyed it. Though I find that I am always a sucker for the more detailed and thorough story that a novel conveys in contrast to a movie, I certainly enjoyed being able to experience both and form my own opinions, and I think that everyone who reads this book should do the same! 

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