Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance—is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.
It’s been way too long since I read a LGBTQ centered novel so I was happy to pick up this one. Simon has been sitting on my shelves for about a year now and for some reason I just never got around to reading it. However, after hearing there’s going to be a movie and needing a quick read after the behemoth that was a A Court of Wings and Ruin, I decided to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did.
The novel is told in the first person POV of Simon Spier who’s gay but not out yet. Though he’s not really afraid to come out and knows he’s lucky enough to have family and friends that will except him, he’s just not ready yet, which is perfectly fine. However, his life gets complicated when his fellow classmate Martin discovers Simon’s secret emails to “Blue,” another gay student who Simon met through the school’s unofficial Tumblr.
Martin uses the emails to blackmail Simon, leading to a lot of problems for Simon who is basically put in the position of either agreeing to help Martin or being outed. Yeah, I’m not Martin’s biggest fan either. Though this is obviously a terrible situation for Simon to be in Becky Albertalli somehow managed to make this novel both funny, romantic, and very heartfelt.
Simon’s sense of humor had be literally laughing out loud and I loved reading his emails with Blue. They’re so incredibly cute together and I loved the mystery of trying to figure out who Blue was. For me, Blue’s identity was surprising enough that I loved the big reveal but wasn’t so surprising that it felt like it came of nowhere. Basically, it was perfectly done.
Besides, Simon and Blue’s epic romance, I also really loved almost every character and for different reasons. Simon’s group of friends includes his best friends Nick and Leah, and relatively new girl Abby, who causes some friction in the friend group, mainly because Leah’s jealous of her. Though Leah annoyed me at points I also found her to be relatable and grew to love her. I really liked Nick and Abby from beginning to end though, especially Abby. She was my favorite.
I also loved Simon’s family. He has an older sister Alice and a younger sister Nora, and I liked that they were so incredibly close but also all had their own secrets. Additionally, I thought Simon’s parents were so funny and I liked that they felt like real parents, meaning they were dorky and embarrassing but also loving and not adverse to handing out the occasionally grounding.
Lastly, I really liked Simon’s teacher Ms. Albright for a long list of reasons but mainly because she’s that kind of teacher that you’d totally be friends with on Facebook after you graduate. She’s chill but also a force to be reckoned with if you cross her.
Overall, I just really loved this novel. My copy is now filled with so many tabs it’s a little absurd. I’ve already reread my favorite scenes at least three times and I could reread this book from beginning to end right now, I love it that much. If you haven’t read this book yet I highly recommend it. Honestly, I’m mad it took be this long to finally give it a read.
Borrow or Buy: Are you serious? Buy it. Like yesterday.
“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”