review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli + movie review


“I remember exactly how it felt to see that first message from him in my inbox. It was a little bit surreal. He wanted to know about me. For the next few days at school after that, it felt like I was a character in a movie. I could almost imagine a close-up of my face, projected wide-screen. It's strange, because in reality, I'm not the leading guy. Maybe I'm the best friend.”
- Becky Albertalli, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda 
by Becky Albertalli 
Publication Date: April 7th 2015 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 303 
Series: Standalone 
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ+

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.

A heartwarming coming out story!

Since 2015, I've kept Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda very close to my heart. The reason? Simon's story changed me in the best way possible. And I can't tell you how excited I was for Love, Simon! The book and movie made the world a little brighter I think. They were spectacular in their own ways. Just so much 💓💕💖💗💘💞love💓💕💖💗💘💞 you know?


OKAY I SWEAR this is a book review. I'll stop gushing... for now. Alright so, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is about Simon Spier and he's has, I quote, "a huge ass secret". The secret? He's gay and is struggling to come out to his family and friends. Well, actually two people know Simon is gay. Blue, his online crush friend, and Martin, his blackmailer. If Simon doesn't follow Martin's little game, his emails between Blue will be exposed and everyone will know his secret. Yeah... Simon is one of the most relatable characters I've ever read. He's so awkward, dorky, and acts like an actual teenager (shocking i know!!!). He has a strong personality and narrating voice too. Trust me, you'll never get lost in his story or mix him up with another character.

It doesn't seem like it by the blurb but family and friends play a huge role in this story. Simon' has two sisters and a mom & dad. His parents are the biggest lovebirds EVER and his sisters are just awesome. Even though they were casted on the sideline, his well-rounded family were always on Simon's mind. Now, his friends were truly #squadgoals. There was Leah and Nick, his two childhood friends, and Abby, who recently joined the group in high school. The four of them were so close knitted and funny! Their dialogue and interactions were pure gold. Between having a blast at drama club or late nights at Waffle House, the four friends only grew closer throughout the story.

I could gush about the characters all day but I NEED to talk about the plot. The plot isn't really intricate or complex, it's more emotional and about vulnerability. Simon wants his coming out moment to be his and Marvin takes that away from him. You can see his frustration and anxiety grow throughout his junior year and he does snap. He's stuck lying to the people he loves and, at times, Simon knows he's being selfish and he HATES it. But his relationship with Blue is so secretive and fragile... he doesn't want to lose Blue. See?! I told you it's emotional!!

How Becky Albertalli created the most lighthearted blackmail story is beyond my wildest dreams. Her entertaining dialogue, awkward scenes, and relatable characters made Simon's story, well, Simon's story. Her writing is like the cherry on top. Honestly, Simon's story is a simple one in today's world- it's just a teenage boy trying to come out. But it's incredibly moving and I can't recommend it enough.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:

- Slurs
- Swearing
- Bullying (cyber and blackmail)
- A minor sexual experimentation
- Alcohol (in two separate scenes, simon gets drunk)
- Homophobic actions

OVERALL

If you couldn't tell, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my favorite books all time! It's on the older side of YA but still widely praised. I recommend Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda to everyone, but especially if you're looking for a realistic coming of age story.

Now, I was so so so nervous for Love, Simon. Book-to-movie adaptations can be a hit-or-miss with me. Gahh I remember walking into the theater with a bag of Oreos, hoping for the best.


So, no book-to-movie adaptation is going to be perfect, but this one was pretty damn close! In a way, they really did capture Simon's story, The atmosphere and dialogue seemed straight out of the book, but other aspects didn't. The movie was a polished up version of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which didn't bother me but something to keep in mind for Simon fans. To be honest, this movie was like a breath of relief for me. Simon finally got his movie and I couldn't be happier!

Love, Simon did follow the same concept as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Simon is a closeted boy in high school, he starts sending emails to a boy named Blue (who is also in the closet), and Martin discovers the emails and uses them for blackmail. Of course they got rid of a few things and added new things but all-in-all? The movie followed the book really well. Like I said before, the atmosphere and dialogue were spot on from the book. They were probably my favorite parts about the movie. Some scenes left me on the verge of tears because my!!! heart!!! or laughing so much I almost choked on Oreos. Also, marketing team for Love, Simon was incredible. I love seeing the clever "coming out" and "dear moviegoers, please form a line at concessions. it doesn't have to be straight." ads everywhere.

Alright I wanna address a few negative things THEN back to the positive stuff okay? Right off the bat, I think Nick Robinson was an okay actor. Yes, he didn't look like Simon but that didn't bother me- it's just his acting skills are so... mediocre. I don't know, I just think Simon deserved someone else. And there's the fact that a few actors and actresses didn't look like teens, which always kinda bothers me. So besides Nick Robinson and a few of the actors/actresses looking like full grown adults, the acting was great (especially keiynan lonsdale i love him <3)! The last thing I wanna address is a few scenes rubbed off on me the wrong way. But I won't go into detail with those scenes because a) spoilers and b) it's definitely because of my own experiences so those scenes probably won't affect y'all. So tell me know if you bookaholics want a spoiler review.

I believe the impact of Love, Simon is honestly the most heartwarming thing I've seen all year. I saw the movie with my lovely mom and it was really nice to spend the day with her. But, around the web, I saw so many teens come out to their family and friends after Love, Simon. (so proud of y'all!!) I also know Love, Simon was learning experience for many, an eye-opener even. And so many celebrities bought out theaters and gave away tickets to people asdfghjkl the overwhelming support for this movie was incredible! Love, Simon made some huge waves in mainstream media and I truly believe his story was just the beginning.

THIS MOVIE IS RATED PG-13 FOR:

-Thematic elements
- Sexual references
- Language
- Teen partying

(details)

OVERALL

Love, Simon is long overdue in the movie world. I mean, when's the last time you saw a gay romcom? Exactly. Anyway, if you're a fan of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you will definitely enjoy Love, Simon. The movie stays loyal to the book, has scenes that will tug the heartstrings, and new lovable characters. Please see it theaters or preorder on the DVD now!

OH AND THE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK IS AMAZING! Anyhoo, have you seen Love, Simon? Or read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Share your non-spoiler thoughts below! Is anyone excited Leah on the Offbeat? I know I am 🙋🙋



Comments

  1. This looks like such a good book! Thank you for your review ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

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  2. Oooh, this looks like a well-written book! Especially, I get the vibe that it's portraying the LGBT community/character accurately, too; I hate it when books write about characters like these but they all come out stereotypical.

    xoxo Morning

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  3. I want to see Love Simon so bad but being away for uni has prevented me from having anybody to go see it with it :( I’m sure I will eventually get to see it though, and I am so excited for when I do! My cousin told me the other day that it was so adorable that she almost cried. Can’t wait! And your review has made me want to see it even more :)

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    1. Aww man that sucks. :(( I hope you see Love, Simon very soon! Gahh that's so sweet, thank you! 💞

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  4. Ahhhhhh I love the book so so much and I want to see Love, Simon so much!!!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I hope you see Love, Simon soon. 💘

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  5. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS POST. <333 And I can't tell you how well you summed everything up. THANK YOU FOR THIS.

    Uggghhh, you've given me so many more Simon feels! How is that even possible?? This movie is #perfection and EVERYONE needs to see it (book fans or non-book fans). I feel like the movie complimented the book very nicely. There were some things that were a bit different from the book but I think once people see it, they will want to read the book (and THEY SHOULD) and vice-versa. My ONLY complaint was that I wished they showed more Simon + Blue moments. I understand that they had to try their best to keep it a secret but it would have been nice to see their relationship built up a little more. BUT THAT'S WHAT THE BOOK IS FOR! In the book, we really get to see Blue as a character and not a mystery. Does that make sense?

    Ah, I really want to go see it again but I don't think it is in my theater anymore! *sobs* But I am eagerly awaiting for the dvd. The only thing that is stopping me from crying about not seeing it again is that the experience I had seeing it the first time was remarkable. I walked out of the theater with a huge smile plastered on my face and a skip in my step, feeling as though the world had changed. And... I think it did.

    Like I said... *chucks glitter at this post* PERFECTION! PERFECTION! I hope you are having a lovely day, my dear. <3

    xx Kenzie

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    1. ASDFGHJKL YOU'RE WELCOME!!

      Gahh you're too sweet! I totally agree. Hopefully, the book sales have gone through the roof! I liked the way they portrayed Blue's secret identity but more Simon & Blue moments would've been amazing. Yes it does!! And I get u fam.

      Yeah same here! I'm eagerly waiting for the DVD but, in the meantime, I'm saving up for some more Simon merch. EXACTLY <333

      Thank you so much Kenzie! You too :)

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  6. I've been hearing amazing things about this book, but I haven't been able to get to it. I'm making it my priority to read it before June! The movie also has been getting quite a positive reviews, and I can't wait to see it! Lovely review Anna!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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