Becky Albertalli's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a LGBTQ young-adult novel following sixteen-year old Simon Spier. Not so openly gay Simon just wants to work on the school musical, hang out with his friends, and keep his email pen-pal, Blue, a secret. Like Simon, Blue is also secretly gay. When a fellow classmate, Martin, discovers Simon’s emails, he blackmails Simon into helping him with his own relationship troubles. If Simon doesn’t help, his relationship with blue and their sexualities will be exposed.
One of the reasons why Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda feels so realistic is because the novel does not solely focus on Simon's sexuality. We follow alongside Simon, the average, yet quite hilarious, teenager, as he navigates life in general. We see him perform in the school musical, hang out with his friends, watch The Bachelor with his family, and so on. He has a love for Oreos that would rival your own, and anyone who considers Golden Oreos can step aside. Simon feels like he could be your own best friend.
Overall, the novel is filled with heart and humor. However, one of the more upsetting aspects of the novel is that Simon is forced to come out as a result of Martin’s blackmailing. Simon is comfortable with being gay, but he is unsure of how his friends and family will react to his coming out while living in more conservative Georgia. Yet, it is the support Simon receives from his family and friends that makes the novel as a whole a great LGBTQ read. While he unfortunately receives some backlash at school, his sisters, parents, and best friends encourage Simon to ignore the hate.
Since its publication in 2015, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda has received numerous awards, including the William C. Morris Award Winner: Best Young Adult Debut of the Year. Becky Albertalli’s next novel, coming out in 2018, will be the sequel to to the title, following the perspective of Simon’s friend, Leah. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is currently being produced as a film adaptation, starring Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Garner. The film is set for release in 2018.