The More Things Change, the more ... you know the rest.


Simon Spier (16) has lived a pretty normal life. His parents are kind, loving people; and his sister supports him in all of his decisions. He and his 3 amazing friends have been were in preschool. They are best friends and there isn't anything that could break their friendship apart. Except ... Simon has a secret he hasn't shared: hes gay.

Simon meets another gay person, whom he knows as "Blue," via Tumblr. The two exchange emails about their closeted feelings and how it has been impacting their life. Simon pours his heart out to Blue. When Martin, one of Simons archenemies, finds one of the emails, he blackmails Simon. Martin will out him unless Simon hooks him up with Abby, one of his best friends. 

Not knowing what to do, Simon falls into a difficult, messy web of lies to satisfy Martin. When Martin tells Abby how he feels about her at a football game, she rejects him in front of the whole school. Martin blames Simon and is so angry he posts the email on the school website. Not only is Simon outed, but he loses his best friends.  

BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
This is such a beautiful novel about love and friendship! This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. The teens are experiencing different things that led to character development and change.  I was able to relate to a lot of the characters. Most obviously, Simon learned a lot from his experiences, and by the end, you can feel that he is comfortable with who he truly is.

I would definitely buy this book for a friend, especially if they are in high school or getting ready to go to college. I totally suggest watching the movie after reading the book. 

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Realistic, humorous, touching, and great characters. Simon v. the Homo Sapiens Agenda has everything you want in an exceptional young adult novel!

Content Awareness Factors:

There is a lot of profanity. Sexual references are also part of the plot. Despite the 4th grade reading level, this is a YOUNG ADULT novel intended for readers in high school or older.

Type of Book:
This is a contemporary, realistic fiction story about a young gay man trying to figure out who he is.
Educational Themes:

There is lots to explore, no matter what your sexual orientation. This is a coming of age story about growing up and the consequences (good and bad) from the choices we make. You might also rent the movie after reading the book to see which you liked better.

  • Were the characters on screen what you envisioned as your ead the book?
  • What changed for movie purposes that was less emphasized (or didn't happen) in the book?
Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. The story is that good. You'll read it and either (a) read it again; or (b) let a friend borrow it.

Title Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simonverse, Book 1

Author Becky Albertalli
Publisher Balzer + Bray, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2016 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9780062348685
Material Paperback
Cost $12.99
Genres Friendship, Social Issues, Romance
be the star you are
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