“Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli is a new-age gay romance novel that follows the ever-deepening relationship between Simon and an unknown closeted gay student identified by the alias, “Blue.”
Simon and Blue’s relationship starts off simply. They talk about their favorite foods, the music they like and their similar situation of both being closeted in high school.
The two only communicate through email, anonymously. The book takes a dark turn as Simon then finds himself being blackmailed by a fellow classmate who discovers his secret.
Simon states early on he feels as if his storyline is only worthy of being a sub-plot to the love stories of his friends. This couldn’t be more wrong — I will give it to him and say that I wouldn’t mind a book that features his best friends’ small love triangle, but Simon’s story can hold its own against any other young romance tale and hold an audience’s ever-shortening attention span.
If I had to describe this book in two words it would be: blush-worthy. The development of Simon and Blue’s relationship is innocent with light touches of maturity sprinkled into it.
It is hard as a reader not to feel as though you are a close friend sitting at the school lunchroom watching the two fall for each other with every small interaction.
The conflict between Simon and his blackmailer is a bit of a distraction, as the real emotional depth is in the relationship between characters. As Simon and Blue delve deeper into their relationship, it acts as a mirror to their own self-discovery. Simon’s ever-growing need to discover Blue’s true identity is also a search for his own self. Simon and Blue encourage each other to express themselves truthfully to their families.
“Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” is coming to theaters this spring under the new, sleek name “Love, Simon” (if you read the book you’ll get it). Topically this book can please many audiences and may be just the sweet loving distraction many teens need in 2018. The novel may prove to be the next “Fault in Our Stars” and might be what teen fiction has been leading up to.
Colton Newman is the photo editor and a music writer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Coltonperson.