Title: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Page Count/Review Word Count: 312
I feel a little let down by this one, because I was expecting to absolutely love it and I ended up thinking it was just okay. The core story line was pretty good and everything I expected it would be, but I found it difficult to relate to the characters because the whole thing felt so American. Simon’s school and the culture inside it is nothing like the school I went to when I grew up, and there were a bunch of cultural references that I didn’t get and that made me feel more like an outsider.
Still, there was plenty of stuff that I did like as well, and I saw Simon very much as a flawed character. Not because he’s homosexual, of course, but because of some of the decisions that he makes and the ways that he acts. He complained about his teachers for following the syllabus and about his parents when he got in trouble for getting drunk. I was also confused by a scene at a gay restaurant that was pumping bass and freely serving alcohol to what appeared to be an entire room full of underage people.
All in all, this book made me feel kind of old. I related to the grownups more than the kids and couldn’t really tie it back to when I was a kid. But then, an ex-pupil burned down my school and I remember watching someone else get hit in the eye with a metal pole by another kid who didn’t like them. But it does have a positive message and I can see why you might find it relatable if you were born after the turn of the century somewhere in America.