“Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” – Becky Albertalli

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Simon’s life is picture perfect. Except he has one massive secret. When this secret gets revealed to the wrong person Simon will do everything in his power to keep his life from spiraling out of control. While navigating friendship, bullies, and possible romance Simon tells a story that keeps you wanting more.

Dear reader,

I. Love. This. Book

I was going to leave it at that. Simple, understated, to the point. I love this book so much I don’t even need to say anything else. How do you talk about something you love? Do you go on and on about the writing style, how it’s believably teenage without being immature? Do you gush about the characters, how each one is someone you want to be best friends with? How even the villains have redeeming qualities and even the heroes are flawed? Do you talk about the big gay elephant in the room? The fact that there needs to be this kind of perfect, wholesome LGBTQIA representation in literature? Do you talk about the fact that there’s a movie adaptation? And that that movie adaptation is LITERALLY THE GREATEST BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU HAVE EVER WITNESSED IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA!? What do you say about a story you fell in love with from the opening line!? What do you say about how you cried REAL TEARS through the struggles and the joys? How do you explain that you can’t look at an Oreo without smiling? How do you even comprehend loving a book so much and then explaining that love to someone else? You don’t. You hold onto it. You hold it close and you love it for yourself. And then when you’ve loved it so tight you feel like it might break you scream it  at everyone until they love it too. I’ve had a few very long, very fangirl-y conversations with a couple close friends about this book (and it’s subsequent movie) and now I’m screaming it at you. Go. Read. This. Book. As a semi-out? Very proud member of the all-inclusive LGBTQIA community I cannot express how important representation is. All I write are LGBTQIA novels; my life goal is that I can help even one person by having them read my novel and say “man, your character Sean really got me” or “Lexi and I are the same person, it was a feeling like I wasn’t alone”. And I feel like this book does that. It can be super scary to have to identify yourself (gay, straight, jock, nerd… whatever), saying “I am this and you have to accept that” can be horrifying, especially in high school! Simon has great parents, great friends, a mostly tolerant school, it should be “easy” for him to be gay, but there are still struggles and I love that this book explores that. I love that this book explores the very real fact that being you unapologetically you is absolutely horrifying.

I just love everything. Everything. About this book. And the movie. Oh my God the movie (shortened to “Love, Simon”). So well done. The acting is brilliant. They changed just enough to keep it relevant but not so much it’s a new piece. The soundtrack to the movie was perfect! I am in love. This book reminded me that love can happen. You can love yourself, you can love others, and you can be loved in return. And if you haven’t read it yet or haven’t seen the movie then really Pride Month is the best time.

Happy Pride my people! And Happy Reading!

Love,

Cas

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