Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Coming of age novel sure to rekindle memories of youth and its struggles

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a coming of age story that makes readers fall in love with the main character in a way that will take you right back to high school.

The book focuses on Simon, who is coerced into helping an unlikely ally in order to keep his secret conversations with his e-mail pen-pal Blue from getting out. The one thing that separates this book from a lot of others is both its devotion to not censor the main character, leaving him that much more likable.

Everything Simon goes through in this book are likely things that a good portion of readers have felt, though the author makes it a point to give Simon as much personality that she can. The book also somehow makes every one of its side characters both understandable in their motivations, yet it doesn’t let these motivations be their only personality traits.

Though, the main positive that will always stand out in this book is the relationship that grows between Blue and Simon. Their relationship is awkward, yet somewhat becomes arousing and touching all-in-one, making two individuals with major differences fall for each other through their attempt to understand their sexuality.

The book is broken up into two different writing styles, with half of the book being written in the first person and the other being the emails between Blue and Simon. It also carries a lot of comedy with it that flows with the personality of Simon, who often attempts to be cynical.

It also does raise good points on sexuality, yet never deflects the conversation towards anything remotely heavy as a theme. The ending did seem a little less realistic than the book had been up to that point tone wise, however it fits due to the narrative style that is carried throughout the book.

The book is written by Becky Albertalli, who is a clinical psychologist, this is her first novel. The author treats its readers with respect, never pulling punches towards the material and due to this, it makes the experience of reading it that much more enjoyable.