Book review by Aarene Storms: Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - and Leah on the Offbeat

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

16-year-old Simon Spier is in the closet, and he isn't sure how to get out. But he's been corresponding online with another local boy called "Blue," and Simon is pretty sure that Blue (or whatever his real name is) will be worth all the drama that will probably accompany coming out.

Then, Martin finds the emails and blackmails Simon.

Did somebody say "drama"?

The book features all of the heartache-y, up-and-down drama of a John Hughes "brat pack" movie, updated with modern characters and modern sensibilities.

It's fun, it's funny, it's surprising, and it's a feel-good book with a happy ending -- perfect summer beach reading.

And if you liked Simon, you'll love Leah:

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

A year has passed since Simon learned Blue's true identity, and in that time, nobody has made much progress getting to know Leah better. She's smart, she's snarky, she's a damn good drummer and a good friend. But even though her mom has known for ages that Leah is bisexual, Leah hasn't told anybody else yet. Not even Simon.

Now senior year is almost over. Prom-drama is running high, with graduation and college coming soon, and Leah is torn when her rock-solid group of friends begins to fracture in ways she never dreamed.

Sweet, warm and funny, with all the melodrama that only 18-year-olds can muster. It makes me remember my high school days with a smile, even though I'd never want to re-live them.

Recommended for ages 12 to adult. Some cussing, lots of under-age drinking, and more sexual situations and angst than you might have thought possible. Gold stars for appropriate mentions of safe sexual practices.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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