Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Review: Did I read a different book?

Synopsis: 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.

Review: 3/5

I DO NOT KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS BOOK. AT ALL.

And the fact that I am the last person in the mapped universe to have read it is not helping me define my emotions.

In fact, it is actually only informing me that my feelings should be “THIS BOOK IS AMAZING IT IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER READ IN MY LIFE IT’S ADORABLE AND LIFE-CHANGING AND I AM GOING TO GIVE IT FIVE STARS AND BLUSH CUTELY WITH HAPPINESS WHENEVER MY MIND BLESSEDLY DRIFTS TO IT.”

And my feelings are definitively not that.

But they are also not, “This book made me feel nothing. I am emotionless. I am the void. I hated this book as I hate sunlight and flowers and the smell of cookies baking on an autumn day and anything capable of producing joy. Joy in others that is, because, as mentioned, I am fully immune to happiness.”

Closer to the second one, probably, but that’s because there’s something wrong with me.

I guess my feelings are that…this book is…(picture me literally gulping like a cartoon character, which is not something that people do in real life but people in books do all the time)…um…overrated?

I am prepared to be pelted with spitballs and rotten tomatoes and framed photos of Becky Albertalli’s face.

Here is what this book is, to me:

  • occasionally fun
  • quick to read
  • decent
  • impressively diverse

 

Here is what it is not, to me:

  • life-changing
  • equal in terms of magic-ness to a rainbow or a child laughing for the first time
  • better than cookies (and how dare anyone even think it)
  • worthy of even four stars

I liked the first half of this book. I liked it a lot, in fact. But the thing about (most of) the second half of this book is that it is literally the same as the first half, and that repetition is no fun whatsoever.

Also, I found the reveal of the crush-character to be really predictable.

Also, I found a lot of it to be brutally unrealistic. To the point of nonsense. (A good person doesn’t blackmail other people, and thus if you want to make a character blackmail another character, please don’t try to make the point of the conclusion be that long-term blackmail about someone’s sexual orientation including threats and, later, a brutal outing of someone can be something that a misunderstood but friendly loner does by mistake. That’s ridiculous and also f*cked up.)

Also, some of the characters are SO UNLIKABLE. (If Leah got hit by a car in front of me I’d hesitate before I called 911.)

Buuuut…it is really diverse, you guys. And like, pretty effortlessly diverse. And it’s not a long read, or a boring one. Is it annoying sometimes? Yes, it really is. And I have a lot of problems with it. AND IT’S NOT AS MAGNIFICENT AS EVERYONE SAYS IT IS.

But God, it’s so much better than The Upside of Unrequited.

Bottom line: Honestly whatever. That’s all I have to say. (I claim as if I didn’t just write a page and a half of opinions before it.)

34 thoughts on “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Review: Did I read a different book?

  1. Theo @readingandrambling says:

    i personally am in love with this book but i totally understand some of the things you pointed out…i can’t believe i didn’t even realize the whole blackmail thing you talked about! i should probably bring my rating down to a 4 or 4.5 bc of it. but i still love the book lol.

    great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlotte says:

    Omg I’ve been waiting for a review like this. I rated it 4 stars but later realised it was pretty boring and nothing interesting really happened. It was a really easy read, and I guess that’s not always a good thing. That blackmail thing was definitely ridiculous and the reveal was very predictable, I wonder if there was anyone who couldn’t have worked it out!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Javier Lopez says:

        oh my god I watched the movie first and I got actual chills when they kiss on the top of the ferris wheel between the cuteness, blue’s ferris wheel symbolism coming full circle, and resolution of the conflict, the whole theater was screaming!! but then I read the book and the reveal just felt like…. they meet on some spinny cups and they sit there being awkward like ??? is that it?? I did not get the same heart-beating nervous excited feeling at all.

        Also did not realize the scenes with Simon’s mom and dad (you get to breathe now) were not originally in the book… that was the best part!

        Liked by 1 person

      • emmareadstoomuch says:

        YES YES YES YES YESYESYES. i was swooning at the ferris wheel scene in the movie. like heart skipping beats, the whole nine. in the book i didn’t feel much of anything.

        OMG JENNIFER GARNER IS THE LIGHT OF MY LIFE AND JOY OF MY SOUL. the parent roles in the movie are just so much lovelier than in the book

        Like

  3. aravenclawlibrary says:

    I never read this book either. I hear so many good things about it but honestly, I’m not super interested in it. The blurb was okay but it didn’t draw me in.

    Good review though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma says:

    I feel obligated to inform you that you are, in fact, the second-to-last person in the mapped universe not to have read this bc ……*whispers* I haven’t, either! I do really want to (even though the hype is pretty intimidating), and I’ll probs try to get around to it before the movie comes out. Also this was a v good review, and definitely some points I’ll keep in mind! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. kozbisa says:

    I adored this book, but I wouldn’t say it was “life changing”. I do acknowledge, that it is a story that could be very important to another person, but for me, it was a sweet story of friendship, first love, and coming of age. With that said, I respect your opinion, because I love a lot of books other reviewers are “meh” about.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Satou Johns says:

    Emma! Emma! Emma! I am so happy that I came across with this review! One a few months ago, I felt so lonely and hated eh haha I like your review so much! you and I had the same reaction to this book! Was Leah the weird one that got mad because he didn’t tell her first? If that is the one, I would have taken your phone away to make sure you wouldn’t be calling 911…
    If you check my review, you will see that you are not alone on this XD I found it distracting, yes, predictable, yes, live changing gasping of air romance… no… would I read it again, why???? will I recommend it… well… no XD

    Thank you for sharing! and I hope you could check out my review! (You can go to the index on my blog XD it is easier that way) ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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