One day early last semester, I decided to treat myself to a spa day. When I went to pay, my card would not accept the charge because it believed it had been stolen. Apparently, when I contacted my bank to inform them that I'd be going overseas, the message did not get all the way to where it needed to be which in turn led to my financial misfortune. Luckily, the problem was solved and I was saved the panic of being stranded in Italy with no cash or credit. Afterwards, I just wanted to lose myself in a good book to decompress from the earlier adventures of the day. The following book did just that.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
What Made Me Read This Book? Adam Silvera (an author I mentioned a few posts ago) read this book and ranked it 5-stars on his GoodReads account. As I've said before, I would read Silvera's grocery list if he ever granted me access to it. But since that has yet to happen, I thought that reading a book he reviewed with very high marks would be a nice replacement to hold me over.
Simon is not out, but he's also not quite in either. He's in a limbo between wanting to be his true self, and not wanting to be ostracized from his small Georgia town. He finds a safe space in the form of Blue, a boy he met on Tumblr and the only person that he "knows" that is in a similar situation as himself. All is well with their email messages until one day Simon accidentally leaves his account up and finds himself being blackmailed by a fellow classmate. Now, he can either help this classmate with a less than savory mission or he can deal with the consequences of being outed to his entire Southern high school. Takeaway Message: ALWAYS make sure you log out before walking away.
My Rating: ✯✯✯✯.5 - During such a stressful moment, this book was able to distract me enough to the point where I could finally breathe again and not panic about my card situation. Any book with that much calming power is a favorite to me.
Why? I loved Simon. He was funny, interesting, flawed, sincere, honest(ish), and just a good guy. Sometimes it can be hard to find a YA book with a strong male lead. In fact, it seems pretty rare. But Simon is a commanding lead. While the book follows adventures that in part come about due to his sexuality, the book is not solely about his sexuality. But in 2017, it is refreshing to read a novel with accurate and kind LGBTQ+ representation. Aside from the plot, the dialogue is hilarious too. Between the musical and the carnival and other hi-jinks, it can feel like a typical teenage rom-com - that it until author Albertalli says something saucy and changes the entire conversation. This coming-of-age novel is perfect for anyone learning who they are or anyone who just needs a good laugh and heartfelt moments. Because there are some beautifully heartfelt moments and a relationship built to make the audience swoon. For once, I'm truly excited to see a book become a movie when this hits the theaters.
Favorite Quote: "White shouldn't be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default."
Hint for next week: These aren't the ancients you're used to