Book Review: ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ by Becky Albertalli

It’s no secret that there’s a severe lack of LGBTQIA representation in any and every format in the world. The rare moment that you pick up an LGBT+ novel, or click play on a movie, either lasts a few pages or seconds, until the realization hits that once again, representation is still lacking.

On the very off chance that you have found a novel or movie that is actually good, it’s probably worth telling anyone and everyone all about it.

So when I picked up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, I was ready to shout from the rooftops. 10015384._SY540_

This novel was worth every ridiculous penny I dreaded spending on it, (Eighteen dollars? Really?) and then some. It was quick, fun, witty, and the ending had me sighing out loud. Simon is blackmailed by Martin, a fellow classmate, after he leaves his email open in the library, with a few dozen emails exchanged between him and his internet crush, Blue, sitting in his inbox. The catch? Blue actually goes to his high school. The two exchange emails through code names, and it’s an unspoken agreement to not mention anything about their personal lives in hopes that they won’t figure out who the other is. Through coming out moments, sadness, and hilarity, Blue and Simon grow rather than wilt against the onslaught of tough moments in their separate lives.

Simon isn’t a character everyone wants to read about, but Albertalli’s greatest feat in this novel is that you begin to want to know about him. His likes, dislikes, whether or not he puts the lid down or up on the toilet, and just what his grade was in seventh grade English class.

I dread to go into spoiler mode for this review, because I want the impending “Oh my god” moment at the end with the big reveal of who Blue is, and I revel in the sure ache in your chest when you read that one confrontation (you’ll know the one) between Simon and Martin. All of these reactions are catapulted by the gentle twists and the soft pushes. The spoilers aren’t worth the surprise and the content feeling you’ll get after picking this book up, trust me. I can’t stand to be surprised, but Becky Albertalli makes this surprise rewarding enough that I may go back on my googling for the ending.

It’s entertaining from start to finish, with enough laugh-out-loud moments and dialogue that you can’t help but want to stroke the page and wonder about why you don’t have such eloquent but ridiculous people in your life. You’ll fall in love with all of Simon’s friends, and even his “hipster” dad and secretive sister. It’s well-rounded characterization that everyone craves in a novel or movie, LGBT+ or not.

If you’re looking for an in depth plot with dragons, elves, and worldbuilding you can taste–this is not your book. Even if you’re in the mood for something that drags slow and fills your chest with salt water that burns, this still isn’t your book.

This one will give you a cavity instead. I ate this book up in one day, and when I closed the book, it tasted sweet, like the cherry on top.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is Becky Albertalli’s debut novel, and she delivers a book that is sure to enrich the lives of many. You will be hungry for more.

You can check up on the author Becky Albertalli at her website here.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becki Albertalli is published by Balzer + Bray, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


Brooke Pawling Stennett is a college student pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction in the old Windy City. She tends to lean toward the obsessive side of the tracks when it comes to books and music. She's an avid concert attendee (or at least she tries to!) and rambler. She'd like to travel the world and write about it, but in the only ways she knows how: sarcastically and full of internet jargon. Her opinions are her best ones, especially if they involve boy-bands and Netflix. . .even though she doesn't even have her own account. You can tweet her at @br_stennett and tell her how ridiculous (and totally great!) her opinions are.