Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Narrator: Michael Crouch
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Length: 6 hrs 45 mins
Summary (from Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
There was so much hype surrounding this book when it was published that I became unsure if I wanted to read it. With a large TBR list, I found it hard to add this one on, so I opted for the audio version. Am I ever glad that I did because this book is so incredibly amazing! Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is told in the male perspective of a lovable teen named Simon. This book explores the theme of LGBTQ in such a refreshing way. Also, the narrator, Michael Crouch, really gets into the skin of Simon and adds a wonderful flavour to this story.
Simon Spier is one of those characters that as a reader you can totally relate to. He is quirky, lovable, flawed and has an insane addiction to anything Oreo related. A character that you can envision as one of your best friends. Albertalli has incredibly brought to life a believable male teenager, that is a testament to her ability to write in the male perspective. A great deal of research must have gone into the birth of Simon, as the descriptions of his innermost thoughts are so well written. This is a character that will speak to you as you listen or read.
Along with this fantastic character is the important theme that surrounds him. Simon is a gay teen struggling with the idea of coming out to the world. From the start of the story, you are privy to emails that Simon is sharing with his love interest, Blue. Right away, Albertalli draws you into Simon’s world and makes you feel a part of the dynamic. As the story progresses, you meet the cast of characters that include his supportive family and friends. This portrayal is very believable and realistic.
Michael Crouch, our narrator, portrays all of the characters in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. His vocal characterizations are amazing and I can totally imagine Simon as he speaks. Crouch also adds his unique element of humour to the story as he is acting out the scenes in the book. There are some real laugh out loud moments that make listening a fun experience.
A wonderfully written book that is both inspirational, eye opening and entertaining. One that most definitely leaves you with a book hangover that even the tastiest of Oreos can’t cure! Add this one to your audio must haves.