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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli



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Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:41 am
Evander says...



Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

[Spoiler alert!]

I will be honest with y'all. I've read this book three times. I originally found it in the teen section of my library and the cover interested me, so I checked it out. I'm so, so glad I did. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my favorite coming-of-age stories so far and actually one of the few romances that I've ever actually really connected with.

Three things: Simon Spier is gay, he doesn't want his friends' and family's perception of him to change, and he's been emailing this amazing guy anonymously. This guy goes to his school. This guy doesn't want to know who Simon is irl and would like to keep it that way. This guy signs off his emails as Blue.
Oh, I guess four things. Simon is being blackmailed by Martin Addison concerning his emails to the aforementioned Blue.

Like I've said, I've read this book three times. Even on the third read, I still feel the twist in my gut of suspense as Simon tries to figure out who Blue is and stumbles onto the wrong conclusion; there's still a feeling of absolute giddiness when Simon and Blue finally meet. Despite the fact the book is a familiar tale now, it still feels remarkably fresh.

The emails between Blue and Simon (or should I say Jacques?) are so utterly sweet that they make me want to melt into a puddle. They help naturally move the book along and never feel like an intrusion.

Something can indeed be said about Simon escaping some consequences pretty easily towards the end of the book, but ohmygod the book is so great that I can easily overlook that. This is definitely something you'd want to read when you're feeling down and want a pick-me-up. You have the Evander guarantee that this'll leave you feeling a-ok by the end of it.

Another note that I do have about this book is the fact that I'm afraid it'll become outdated in a few year's time, with direct references to Justin Bieber (the dog in this story), repeated mentions of Harry Potter, a scene involving Adventure Time, Tumblr, lots of music artist name drops. It does help the immersion into the high school world, but I also fear that the passage of time will be easily spotted.

Hmm, what else is there to say? Abby is one of those characters where you can't help but love her. Leah is so deeply understandable, because who wouldn't be upset if you thought your best friend was moving on from you? Ohmygod Blue is so sweet.

Love,
Evander

Discussion questions:
What are your feelings on Martin Addison?
Is there anything in the book that you wish was handled better?
Opinions on Leah?
Did you manage to figure out who Blue was before Simon?
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Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:26 pm
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neptune says...



Before I answer any questions, I just want to say thank you so much for making this discussion/review.

I read this book earlier this year, actually. It's one of those books that you can't hate. Everything is sweet and innocent and this has to be one of my favorite coming of age stories. I've only read it once but it's one of those books that you can read several times. Anyway, on to the questions~

1. What are your feelings on Martin Addison?
Oh boy. Honestly, when I started the book, I had mixed feelings about him. He seemed like one of those kids who was just a bully. But as I got further into the book my anger kind of melted away. There were some things he did that you can't ever really forgive (I mean, everything about the blackmailing was wrong) but like he said in his email to Simon, he realized how messed up it was he did. He definitely was sorry and I do have sympathy for him. That being said, he messed up in lots of areas. It's kind of a love-hate relationship.

Is there anything in the book that you wish was handled better?
As sweet and romantic as this book is, I do have to agree about the consequences thing. The book ended on such a happy note that the author tried to overlook the negative aspects that weren't really resolved, but it wasn't that major.

Opinions on Leah?
Leah is Leah. I believe she had the right to do what she did, but I honestly felt the frustration and confusion Simon did. It was kind of annoying how Leah behaved towards Simon but I suppose she had the rights to do so? Anyway, I'm happy she talked with Simon and they finally discussed things over, I was just impatient because it felt like it took so long. >.> (Even though it probably wasn't that long).
I love Leah's accepting quality towards anyone. Although she can take things to the extreme/misunderstand things, she is actually very sympathetic and I do love her.

Did you manage to figure out who Blue was before Simon?
I had many theories about who Blue was, and Bram was one of them. When Blue started giving out hints, like being named after a president, I immediately searched for names and people in the book. I was a little obsessed, haha. When Simon started getting to know Cal, I wanted desperately for Blue to be him, but I knew it wasn't (I mean, I feel like it would be too simple). Bram wasn't in the story that much/overly talked about, so it wasn't all that surprising that he was Blue.

I also have a couple of questions, if anybody was interested in looking at them, too.

What are your thoughts about the making of the movie adaptation, coming out in March (Love, Simon)? Opinions about Cal and his character part in the book?

Overall, this book was great. I liked its diversity and cute theme. It was very real in many aspects, which was wonderful. I'm currently reading The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, as well. So far it's pretty good.
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Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:59 pm
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Evander says...



What are your thoughts about the making of the movie adaptation, coming out in March (Love, Simon)?
Simon in the trailer isn't wearing his Harry Potter glasses and it irks me.
Other than that, I don't really know if I can make any judgements on the movie yet. I'm excited and happy that a movie is coming out, but movie adaptions can always leave a lot of important stuff out and leave a lot to be desired. A lot of Simon's wit and cultural insight happens inside of his own head, so I'm interested to see that'll translate onto the screen.

I'm really hoping that this movie will be good, but I won't be surprised if it ends up disappointing.

Opinions about Cal and his character part in the book?
I don't really have any opinions on Cal in general. The scenes between him and Simon were definitely sweet, but I don't feel any large attachment to his character like I feel towards, for instance, Abby. I kinda wished we had learned a bit more about him, but I also feel like that would have complicated things a bit between Simon and Blue.

One more question from my end!

I read a review of the book that criticized the theater backdrop, saying that it was done over and over again with the gay character being in a play. The reviewer cited Will Grayson, Will Grayson and My Most Excellent Year.
I guess my question is did that bother anyone else? I haven't read anyone else criticize the play or Simon being in theater, but it wasn't really a big deal for me.
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Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:37 am
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neptune says...



To your question — no, it really didn’t bother me. But that might just be because I haven’t read those other books so I can’t compare exactly. I think scenes with Simon at the theater were crucial to the book; a lot of Simon’s time was spent there. Whether someone thinks it’s cliche or not, lots of important things happened at the theater and Simon’s personality was really affected through plays and performances.
And to be honest, lots of things in all books have been written many times, so it didn’t bug me at all that other books had a gay character in a play.
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Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:07 am
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Lightsong says...



I'm planning to buy this if the store has it (doubts come from the fact that my country isn't LGBT friendly...). Wish me luck. c:
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Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:17 pm
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Dreamy says...



Aye, I’ve been trying to find the book ever since it was recommended to me by Amazon when I bought Maurice, along with Call me by your name. Shops don’t have coming-of-age genre a lot, so I’m relaying on online shopping once I get monies.
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Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:07 pm
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Lightsong says...



Bought it, read it, and absolutely love it. It's been a while since I read a lighthearted, yet memorable YA novel.

What are your feelings on Martin Addison?

I wasn't threatened by Martin, to be honest, though I did dislike him. The way Becki handled his character, it was obvious he wasn't a person who lived with malicious intentions, not with his nervousness and awkwardness around people. The fact that he had to resort to blackmailing Simon to get near Abby spoke volume of how he was wary about romantic relationship. Not to mention, he did feel guilty of posting that malicious message up, so if there was a villain in this book, it was the people who reacted to it and used it to make Simon's life miserable. They were far worse than Martin.

Is there anything in the book that you wish was handled better?

I followed Emily May's reviews often (the most popular reviewer in Goodreads), so I kept mixing them up and expected Abby to do something bad because of the review I once read about this person named Abby who did something bad. But I guess that was my mind messing with me.

I wish the part about the Emoji has something building up to it. I know Nora and Abby kept disappearing, but there was no hint whatsoever that directed me to conclude there was a possibility they were making a bad. I would like it if Becki makes it a more well-rounded mystery in which if a reader is very observant, they could piece the clues together and come up with that revelation, or suspect something similar.

I also felt like Abby was too nice to the point where I felt she might have some agendas behind her niceties. Maybe it was my mind messing with me like I said above, but there was something about her sweetness that made me uncomfortable. With how she acted as if she was oblivious to Leah's crush on Nick, I felt it was very possible she was orchestrating something bad. I think if she did, it would add more to the story.

Opinions on Leah?

I love her to be honest, because she was just so flawed, so realistic, and so sweet at the same time. Remember when she moved aside her pissiness on Simon because it was his birthday? I melted at the moment and couldn't believe how awesome she was. The way she reacted to Simon coming out to Abby first was very realistic, and something I dreaded about because I knew the moment would come. I did wish she ended up with Nick and Abby with someone else. It didn't seem fair for her and too easy for Abby.

Did you manage to figure out who Blue was before Simon?

Nope. Truth to be told, I knew it before I read the novel because of the review I said I had read. So I tricked myself into reading spoilers. xD

What are your thoughts about the making of the movie adaptation, coming out in March (Love, Simon)?

I'll definitely watch it if it's played in my country (which doubtfully would happen). I wish they make it so that it's a must for the movie to be at least of quality if not being as awesome as the book because it's rare to see LGBT movies done right. So far GBF is my favourite LGBT movie and I hope Love, Simon can live up to it because I see the potentials. That is the high standard I set for the movie.

Opinions about Cal and his character part in the book?

He's so sweet! I knew he wasn't Blue from the beginning, but his interaction with Simon was just too sweet and admittedly was better than Simon's with Bram before Bram revealed he was Blue. It was only because of the fact that Blue wasn't Cal that made me not ship both of them. CalSimon > BramSimon before Bram reveals he's Blue because of the lack of interaction of the latter.
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Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:47 pm
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Carlito says...



This was my favorite romance of the year last year. I LOVE this book. It had me squealing and swooning and jumping in my seat. I don't remembering figuring Blue out before Simon, but it's been too long since I've read it so I don't remember. It's also been too long for me to be able to adequately answer the discussion questions, but I just wanted to chime in and say I'm so excited people are talking about this book!

And the MOVIE!! :D :D
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