Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Who says coming out stories have to be big, dark, dramatic ordeals?
Simon and Blue are gay, but no one knows that about them yet, except each other, and they don’t actually know who the other is. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a contemporary novel not so much about Simon realizing he’s gay and coming to terms with it, but coming out and falling in love. He’s not struggling with why does he like boys, and he’s not afraid of his parents disowning him, he just hasn’t figured out the right timing, and he doesn’t want to make it a big deal.
He and Blue discovered one another through a tumblr “secrets” blog used by students in their high school. Simon was moved by Blue’s words, and the two started an email correspondence, slowly falling for one another without even knowing the other’s name. In a way, they got to know each other from the “inside out,” but in suspense every day at school, wondering who the other was.
This isn’t like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe because unlike Ari, Simon knows he’s gay, and he’s actually pretty okay with who he is. But that doesn’t make it any less wonderful.
This book is also about Simon and his relationships with his friends, Leah, Abby, and Nick. And his relationships with his family, which, I want to point out, are really fantastic. He has very supportive and loving parents (yay! Good parents in YA!) and his sisters are awesome. Like, I want to be friends with his sisters. Or to be sisters with his sisters. His friends are there for him, and their bonds are easy, except when they’re not.
The mystery is who is Blue? and it’s fun to try and figure it out while reading, and to watch Simon try to figure it out as well. It’s slightly predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less cute when it’s finally revealed.
I’m not much of one for contemporaries, but I really liked this one. Did it hold up a little stronger because I started reading it the same day that America finally make gay marriage legal? Maybe. Would it stand up just as strong if it were a story about a boy and girl, rather than a boy and a boy? Maybe not. But it was cute, modern (I LOVED the facebook scavenger hunt his family played!), and a little perfect.
Now, it might have been a little *too* perfect at times, I mean, not everything works out so nicely with a big shiny bow, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want when you’re reading: a happy ending.
It’s cute, funny, will cause all the giddiness, and heart-warming.