Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

albertalli-becky-simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agenda

So because I truly am a book nerd (and because I am incredibly jealous of my daughter who is a new editorial assistant working with young adult literature and gets to read all the time), I like to keep up on some of the current popular YA novels that are out there also.  Here’s a new one that is very cute and timely…

Simon cannot believe the predicament he’s found himself in.  He’s been emailing with an intriguing but anonymous guy on Tumblr, but he’s been caught by Martin, who’s taken a screenshot of one of their conversations.  Will Martin seriously use this to blackmail Simon into fixing him up with Simon’s friend Abby?  And what if it doesn’t work out?  Simon is not sure he’s ready to come out to everyone just yet…

This is a great coming of age story – great because it is fraught with all the normal teen angst but it also has much in the way of understanding of what might be going on in the head of someone who might be considered “different.”  He repeats more than once that the “default” in our minds should not necessarily be heterosexual, and/or the default should not in our minds should not be white.  That we all make presumptions based on a default and that we as a society should be shaking that up.  That there should be no “default” and no presumptions.  People – myself included – make careless statements and random comments with these presumptions with disregard for how they may affect those around them.  We cannot presume how the comments will be heard.

But the story is told with humor and warmth and using great, engaging characters whom we easily like and feel attached to.  Even the worst of the characters has his reasons and while we still dislike him, there is some pity and sensitivity toward his position as well.

This is a well-written, entertaining and insightful book that many adults could benefit from reading.

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