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.
For the past two years, I kept seeing this in bookstores and I always pick it up, then put it down and never actually buy the book. Last week I decided to finally buy the book. I confess, the reason why I grabbed the book this time is because of the movie that is about to come out soon and I wanted to finally see what the hype was all about, and it didn’t disappoint.
The story is basically a coming of age coming out story, in which Simon is secretly talking to someone online named “Blue” in which he talks about his problems to and they develop a good relationship. He also deals with being blackmailed by one of his classmates, to basically be a “wingman” to him. Simon is a sort of the normal YA contemporary male protagonist, he deals with most problems that high school boy faces but it did a good job at also weaving in a good coming out story. I also liked how much of a Harry Potter fanboy he was.
I felt it was a bit cliched to have a coming out story mixed in with a blackmail plot. That was always a pet peeve of mine in LGBTQA+ story lines in which it always has to deal with blackmail, in terms of coming out and the book already had a good story without blackmail plot.
I also like the use of the internet and how he meets “Blue”, being though Tumblr. It shows how an online can be helpful especially for those who want to escape their actual reality. I also liked Simon’s relationship with his family, especially his sister who pretty much knew he was gay.
The “Blue” reveal was also pretty good. While the relationship seemed a bit rushed once they meet each other in real life, it did seem real and genuine.
In the end, Simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda was a very good book that lived up to the hype. It had a great main character in which you care about and a pretty good story about coming out and self-acceptance.