Simon finally thinks he’s found true love, or at least true like. Unfortunately, he’s met this someone, who goes by the name Blue, online. Simon is gay but not out to anyone, not even his family and friends, but he inadvertently ends up revealing his orientation to fellow high school student Martin. Martin reads one of Simon’s emails to Blue when Simon forgets to log out of his email account. It turns out that Martin has a crush on Simon’s friend Abby and says he won’t tell anyone Simon’s secret if he can help Martin talk to her.
If it sounds complicated, it is. There’s lots of drama, including Simon and several other characters rehearsing for the school musical, Oliver! But the refreshing thing about Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is that the drama never gets too dark. While Martin is blackmailing Simon, he comes off more confused than evil, and the mystery of who Blue really is will keep you turning the pages.
Albertalli does try a little too had to make everything nice and sunny by the end of the book. This wouldn’t normally bother me, particularly with Simon. I’m not saying I wanted the book to end with the school bus heading off a cliff, but there seems to be too much effort to give a nice neat ending to even some of the more minor characters. This is a small complaint. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a great debut novel that is engrossing and has great character development. I would say I can’t wait for Albertalli’s next novel, but I’ve already read that one, The Upside of Unrequited, too. So here’s hoping that book number three shows up quickly.