Book Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Any book that makes you wanna rush home just so you could resume reading is a good one indeed! This was mostly a fun, heart-warming read and Simon is just so adorable as a person that it’s hard to not empathise with him, and actually wish that you knew him. I mean, he wears a freaking dementor costume for Halloween!

But the bigger point is this; even though I wasn’t really on-board with the narrative from the get go (I’m nearing my 30s and nowhere in the head space to go through a YA coming-of-age story), but there are a few books that always breakthrough, due to the larger picture that they paint. And this book grew on me with every page – Simon, his friends, his school, his parents – and I realised that’s because everything feels so genuine and relatable. And as someone who’s experienced this often, coming-out is not just about your sexuality, we come out everytime we don’t fit into the boxes that the society puts us in. And this all the more special because at its core it’s not really about Simon being gay, there are so many other battles that he’s fighting every day.

And it just hits me while I’m writing this that there’s so much that this book addresses in the short span. How to stand up to bullying, how to be more inclusive, more accepting, and how to be better parents even.

And last but not least, Becky’s superb prose! The language is fluid and it does read like a 16 year old’s inner monologue, but there are some really curious phrases that I enjoyed e.g describing someone’s voice as “thin and high like Voldemort”. It’s simple but effective.

Overall, this was time well spent. Would I read the sequel? Not unless there’s one from Simon’s POV again.

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