Simon Says [Café Libro]

Carson TerBush

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Simon Spier is many things: drama kid, Oreo-lover, friend, son of a child psychologist. But he is also gay, and he doesn’t know how to integrate the current Simon everyone knows him as with the one he’s kept secret. He confines his feelings about his sexuality to emails with Blue, an anonymous student at his school he met on an online forum. Simon’s emails with Blue are both his biggest secret and most prized possession, but when a kid at school obtains screenshots, all his secrets, and his relationship with Blue, are put in jeopardy. Simon faces the difficult decision of succumbing to blackmail or risking his secrets being revealed to the entire world. A story of love and finding yourself, Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda covers the bases of a successful existential teen novel.

What struck me most about this book was Simon’s raw truthfulness in his descriptions of life in high school. His interactions and thoughts about the difficulties of his social life resonated with me and seemed very true. It also provided a very easy to follow narrative that I could read without trouble and finished quickly.

The book also brought up issues of coming out and embracing your true colors despite judgement from others. Simon often felt confined to his old personality by his friends and parents who had known him for so long and expected predictable behavior from him. This made coming out especially difficult because he was afraid their reactions would be drastic and dramatic. Embracing your true self is difficult and often applies to most teens at at least one part of their life, making this book relatable.

My only complaint about Simon was its predictability. Though I enjoyed reading it, I burned through it very quickly and the resolution was unrealistically perfect. I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in a wholesome human interest story who isn’t looking for anything too heavy.

In addition to a bestselling book, Albertalli’s novel is now being adapted to a major motion picture, “Love, Simon,” as of March 16. I’m quite excited to view the movie, especially with the cast, which pulls many actors from the Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why.” Simon will be played by Nick Robinson, the actor who portrayed Olly in “Everything, Everything;” his friend Leah will be played by Katherine Langford, who portrayed Hannah in “Thirteen Reasons.” I’m excited to see the film interpretation of this book.

On this blog, Emily Dexter and Carson TerBush will put their book recommendations to the test. Each week, one will challenge each other to read a book she has read before and enjoyed. The following week, they will judge the recommended book and then propose the next challenge. They hope to inspire new readers to read some new books. To read more, check out the Café Libro blog at https://hilite.org/category/cafe-libro/.

 

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