Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda Review & Rant

Hello teenagers of the 21st century!

First off, this book: O-M-FREAKING-G. Where do I begin. Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda. I can't even. I was originally going to be reviewing Carrie Fletcher's 'What I know Now' today (I still loved it and I'll be reviewing at a later date), but I just finished reading Simon VS this afternoon and couldn't resist writing a little review for it. I don't normally do book reviews on this blog, however I'm a huge bookworm (always have been since I was tiny, I would rather sit in the library at break times reading that go outside... Don't judge me...) and books are something I really really love, so I thought 'why not?'. And besides, I do have a point to make about something in relation to the book which is a bit more in line with what I normally write, but all will be revealed in a minute!

Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda Review

So what exactly is it it about this book that turns me into a mushy gooey eyed fangirl? Well, it revolves around Simon, a nerdy sixteen year old Oreo-Cookie-enthusiast who is struggling with coming out as gay to his friends and family. And Blue, Simon's anonymous online confidant, who is in Simon's year at school and is also gay. The chapters alternate between Simon's POV in real life (well real fictional life...;)) and Simon and Blue's emails to each other.

As the book develops you get to see Blue and Simon's relationship flourish through their emails from just chatting, to flirting, to slowly falling in love with each other. It's honestly one of the cutest teen romances I've ever read (an trust me when I say I've read A LOT), and although they are falling in love anonymously over email this doesn't take away from the realistic-ness of the whole story. In fact I actually loved that they fell in love without knowing who they both were in real life, as this meant they actually fell for the personality and character of the person instead of looks and appearances.

Although this book is a coming out story, I liked how it wasn't cliched and didn't take over the whole plot. In fact, my absolute favourite thing about this book is that it didn't make the two main characters being gay a huge deal. This whole book is a true testament to the fact that love is love no matter what and that it doesn't matter what your sexuality is. The love story was just like any other love story I've read (an extremely cute one at that), the two characters just happened to be two boys.

However, as much as I'm going on about how much of a cutie patootie love story this is, Simon does get a fair bit of stick from his classmates when they find out that he's gay. This is what I want to talk about as it's something that I see happening in my school and on the internet quite a lot. In the book and in real life it's not so much hardcore bullying that occurs most, it's the tiny comments and remarks made day to day that are a huge problem. In recent years we as a society have come on leaps and bounds with LBGTQ+ awareness and rights, however there is one thing that continues to annoy me almost everyday.

It's when people use the word gay as an insult. I'm talking about the 'OMG that was so gay!' 'Uhhh this homework is so gay.' etc. I feel as if its become normal to use the word gay as an insult and this is simply not acceptable, so let me clear one or two things up for everyone:

When it's okay to say gay
Image from Instagram
Now I really don't want to be a party pooper here but it is something that relentlessly gets on my nerves and I do find myself having to spend more time than I should have to pointing out to people that gay is not in fact an insult. The outcome of this is often that the person apologises and in my experience calling people out for a misuse of language like this often does help to remind people that what they are doing is wrong! So my advice is that if you see someone using the word gay as an insult or to describe someone / something that isn't a man that's attracted to other men please please please say something! The only way we can fix these things is if we all make a conscious effort to help resolve the issue at hand (this goes for most things).

Anyway, I really hope you decide to go out and buy this book. It only came out a couple of months ago and I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that it gets the attention it deserves as it really is brilliantly written and a beautiful story. I'm so happy that this year I'm seeing more and more YA books tackling important issues such as All The Bright Places which talks about depression and The Art Of Being Normal which covers transgender issues (and now of course Simon VS Th Homo Sapiens Agenda!). We are working towards a YA genre (and hopefully a world!) that includes everyone regardless of gender identity, sexuality, race etc and that makes me very very happy!

Sarah xx

P.S. Next week I am in Paris (you have no idea how much I'm looking forward to it, we are going to Disney World and I CAN'T WAIT:)) so I don't know if I'll have any posts up unless I decide to write one and schedule it for when I'm away. However on the plus side once I get back I'll have lots and lots of pretty pictures of The Eiffel Tower, macarons, cute Parisian bookshops and Disney so there will most definitely be a picture heavy blog post once I get back! :) xxxx