Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
read from 27 to 28 August 2016
actual rating: 4.5 stars
• Read my original review here! • spoiler-free review! •
I finished writing my review and then Mozilla decides to close the tab! I’m really annoyed right now and in no mood to re-write the entire thing, so this will be very short!
Anyway, I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for the first time almost a year ago. I originally rated it 3.5 stars, though I later changed it to 4 stars. The more time passed, the more I wanted to read this again. So, when I chose diversity in Young Adult literature as my thesis topic, it was the perfect moment to dive into this again!
I actually enjoyed this even more the second time around! Obviously, this features gay characters, but there are also POC and they even talk about heteronormativity!
The only things I didn’t like were Martin and the way Leah was treated. Martin is everything I hate about nerd culture (and entitled straight white people). He thinks he’s entitled to Abby’s attention just because he is ‘nice’ to her and dares advise a gay kid how he should come out. It’s just all kinds of wrong. Not to mention how hard he tried to be funny. I’d hate being stuck with him in the same classroom.
Leah is clearly a feminist and of course, she has to be portrayed as if she is always grumpy and moody. It re-enforces the ‘angry feminist’ stereotype. However, I really did love her ending and it even made me a little emotional!
I’d recommend everyone to read this! It’s such a fun and cute read and not as stereotypical as other YA contemporaries set in high school. Also, Simon’s storyline is not only about his sexuality and that is great! There’s more to someone’s story than the people they are attracted to. I can’t wait to get my hands on Albertalli’s next book!