I love Simon

It’s 2018. As anyone who hasn’t made their home under a boulder can see, we are living in an era heavily influenced by technology. Television programs have been replaced by vlogs, wannabe musicians can “make names for themselves” on SoundCloud, the title “Instagram model” is uncomfortably easy to obtain, and most of the adults have no idea what’s going on.
The internet has replaced the canine as man’s best friend. Though the social media phenomenon certainly has its pitfalls, one of its benefits is that society is exposed to people and ideas that would be otherwise unattainable. As a result of that increased exposure, the current generation is seeing social progression in directions that our parents may once have thought were impossible. Equality is at the forefront of pop culture movements, and unfairly excluded groups have finally been given a pot-o’-gold at the end of the rainbow.

It’s exciting, it’s infectious, and so is Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
The novel is centered around a high school boy named Simon Spier, who is privately coming to terms with his sexuality. He meets an anonymous boy online who calls himself Blue, and the two teens begin to develop a strong affinity toward one another. Typical budding of young romance, no? No. It can never be so simple in the world of Young Adult fiction. One of them must be paraplegic or suffering from Stage 4 Osteosarcoma (John Green, I’m looking at you).
Within the first 50 pages, a conflict is introduced (luckily, it isn’t terminal). One of Simon’s fellow students, Martin, screenshots emails between the two lovebirds and uses them as blackmail. Neither he nor Blue are out of the closet, so not only does Simon run the risk of outing himself, but his friendship with Blue is also threatened by the unfavorable circumstances.

Simultaneously, the reader is dragged along in playful suspense as Simon yearns to discover the true identity of his digital sweetheart. Is it that boy at the end of the hallway? The server at the diner? By the time of the reveal, I was probably more invested than the characters are.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is adorable and relatable, primarily because Simon is an ever-so-lovable narrator. His voice can seamlessly resound with any adolescent struggling to come to terms with themselves, gay or not.

Just as good cannot exist in the absence of evil, no pros can exist without cons.

Despite its charming characters and concepts, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  feels a bit juvenile. It reads like something that’s been done before, time and time again. I would even go so far as to say that it is a bedazzled version of pretty much every book I picked up at my middle school book fairs. The same could be said for pretty much any novel that falls under the YA fiction genre, so that’s not even too harsh of a negative.
Back on a sunnier note, I must mention how lovely it is to see stories about the LGBTQ+ community being embraced by the mainstream. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda delivers LGBTQ+ into pop culture, and it should be celebrated for that reason. I would recommend this book to anyone who’s yearning for an easy read with feel-good themes and a satisfying ending.

All things considered, I’ve got three words to say.

I love Simon (you know, like the movie title).