Somehow I hadn't heard anything about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda until all of my Goodreads friends starting reading it. Everyone had such great things to say that I finally decided to hop on the bandwagon.
The book starts when some of Simon's private emails fall into the hands of his classmate Martin. Simon has been emailing another boy at the school, known only as Blue, and neither of them are quite ready to come out as gay. Martin is hoping he has a chance with Simon's friend Abby, and so he blackmails Simon into introducing them. Simon agrees not only to keep his sexual identity private, but also to protect Blue's privacy.
Even after making a deal with Martin, Simon worries about his secret getting out. He realizes that he would rather come out to his friends and family on his own terms before they hear the news from someone else. Simon soon learns that coming out isn't one-time event either, but something he will have to keep repeating. I also love how Simon realizes that all the small changes in his life will effect how people see him, not just his sexual orientation. "But I'm tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again."
With Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Albertalli takes a very relevant issue and comes up with a book that is a great balance of serious and fun. Simon is an adorably geeky boy without falling into the trap of that being his only personality trait as a character. He has a supportive family and friends, but the relationships aren't so idyllic that we never see them fight. This is an extremely enjoyable book and the writing is realistic and keeps you reading. Finally, the sentiment of this book can be summed up by Simon's wonderful quote: "White shouldn't be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default."
That is probably my favorite quote from the book and it also makes me think of this wonderful picture I found recently.