Pick of the Week: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

This is a plot we’ve all read or seen before. We know how it works. Person A has a secret. Person B finds out that secret. Person B blackmails Person A to do something for them in exchange for not revealing Person A’s secret. This is a straightforward, run-of-the-mill plotline that we’ve all seen too many times to count. But Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is able to take this seemingly worn-out plotline and breathe fresh characters and humor into it.

Simon has a secret. Simon is gay. Only one person knows: Blue. He met Blue on Tumblr and simonthey’ve been emailing each other. Simon has no idea who Blue is, just that he is gay, they go to the same high school, and Simon enjoys flirting with him. Until Martin sees Simon’s email and decides to blackmail him. Martin wants Simon to set him up with Simon’s friend Abby, or Martin will tell everyone about Simon and Blue.

Simon’s got a great family. The family watches and discusses The Bachelor every week. Simon knows he can talk to his sisters Nora and Alison about anything. His family seems supportive. But he’s still nervous about coming out; he and Blue email about this often. Simon is surrounded by great friends who make an interesting bunch of supporting characters. Best of all Simon has an encompassing addiction to one of my favorite cookies—Oreos!

simonvsSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is written half in narrative and half in the emails between Simon and Blue. The angst and uncertainty between Simon and Blue is palpable. The entire novel is filled with pop culture references and jokes adding to the humor already created by the characters. Check out Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda to find out if Simon can find happiness and to read a new spin on a tired storyline.

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