There’s a lot of Young Adult fiction out there these days. I’m a bit jealous of those who are able to grow up reading these uplifting, important stories that help you understand yourself and the world around you. I wish the stories that are being written today were there when I was growing up. Armed with the wisdom, might I have made fewer mistakes, been a less difficult daughter, and had as much sense at 25 as I think I have now, a decade later? I’d like to believe so.
The YA books that I’ve been reading in recent times have made me slightly more compassionate and tolerant of people and ideas that don’t necessarily support my stand on things. They might have hit differently and I might have gotten far more out of them had I read them earlier, as a teen or in my 20s. When I was growing up, I was reading mostly for entertainment and stories largely served that purpose too. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But the books that are being written now, with the added value of insight and the experiences of the characters, are so vast and varied.
‘Simon vs. The Home Sapiens Agenda’ is a much-talked about book. Many adult book clubs have chosen to read and discuss this YA novel and almost every booktuber I follow on YouTube has raved about it. Becky Albertalli’s debut novel tells the story of 16-year-old Simon Spier who is gay but hasn’t come out. The only person who knows the truth is a boy named Blue, another closet gay teen. The two meet through Tumblr and they communicate via emails. Both have no idea who the other person is.
Then one day, a boy named Martin reads Simon’s emails to Blue on the school computer after Simon forgets to sign out of his email account. Martin now knows his secret and he wants Simon to help him date Abby, the new girl in school. If he doesn’t figure out how to do that, then Martin is going to tell the entire school that Simon is gay.
What follows is a part-hilarious, part-moving story about the angst of growing up and learning to accept yourself for who you are. It’s also a tender and poignant tale of friendship and love. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only reason I gave it three stars is because I’m quite stingy with my four and five stars and reserve those for books that blow my mind and have me blabbering about them all wide-eyed. Simon vs. The Home Sapiens Agenda might not have had that effect but it was still a great read.
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 303, Paperbac