This is by far one of the most endearing books that I read in a while. From its characters to its story, this is a book that will definitely stay with me for a long time due to its cuteness. It’s amazing how the author was able to mix everything so flawlessly and I’m now asking myself why did I have to wait until 2017 to read this one.
The story follows Simon Spier, 16-year old Oreo-loving high school student who’s yet to reveal himself as gay to his friends and family. No one knows that he’s gay aside from his online friend, Blue, whom he met at their school’s Tumblr site. They don’t know each other’s personally or their identity and just refer to each other by their code names which allowed them to be open to each other. They were only driven by their limited knowledge of each other but Simon felt like he can be himself when he’s talking to Blue even just via e-mail until eventually, he finds himself falling in love with him. Problem ensues when because of his carelessness, Martin, a classmate of him, accidentally saw their conversations when Simon forgot to logout from their school computer that he just used. Martin blackmailed Simon telling him that he’ll reveal his secret if Simon won’t help him date Abby, who is Simon’s friend. The book then follows how Simon keeps up with Martin’s threats and at the same time balancing his online relationship with Blue and her relationship with his family and friends. But who really is Blue? Will Martin succeed in revealing Simon’s secret? With their relationship getting more into than just being friends, will Simon and Blue be brave enough to meet despite their doubts and worries about how will it end up? Will Simon be strong enough to reveal himself to his friends and family?
One of the strongest point of this book are its characters. They are this complex and realistic characters that all were given depth making them so relatable. The bond formed between them appeared so real. They are these quirky and natural fellas that it came to a point wherein I wish I knew them growing up. I like how the relationship and interaction between the characters and it’s not hard to be invested in them. And yes, Simon! He’s so witty and honest with what he feels. He has this desire to be loved and accepted the way he is but he’s afraid to take chances. How he managed to eventually overcoming that makes this book worth reading. is The book was written in the first person point of view of Simon and you’ll really get into what Simon is thinking. The way he thinks and reacts to circumstances is freaking delightful.
The way the book is written is also entertaining. The book’s written in two formats, one is narrated in a normal prose formatted thru Simon’s perspective and the second one’s in epistolary form, by way of e-mails, that includes Simon and Blue’s email exchanges. I love how the author use it for the readers to know Simon and Blue more. (For sure, you’ll also find yourself rooting for them.) It’s so sweet. the mystery surrounding who Blue really was. It was fun guessing who Blue was as different clues pointed to several possible people. There’s drama in it but not too intense and it’s balanced out with humor here and there.
For me, when compared to other LGBTQ books, what make this book stands out is its honesty. The author was able to write it in a way that’s so true. I like how the way “how being a gay” was handled. It was genuinely done. I like how it became just relaxed and casual the conversation about it was and it did reach the point of it appearing like a mock. The point of it was, that’s the way how it should be. The fact is, being gay should not matter and should never become a big deal. We differ in sexual orientation and respect for it should be given.
The book shows how the LGBTQ community is treated. It shows the two sides of how they are treated. There’s the supportive side and dreadful side. The book did not shy away from showing the realities of how it feels to be part of a community that is not yet fully accepted by some. The book showed that whatever your gender preference is, whether you’re straight or gay, you’re still human and you deserve fair treatment from every people around you.
The hype is true, this book is really sincere and adorable. It’s hilarious and light-hearted. The book talks about finding love, finding yourself and finding acceptance. The books showed how supportive family and friends could go a long way. This book did not shy away from showing the realities of being part of the LGBTQ community like discrimination. The book also tackled other issues like race and gender inequalities, bullying and the value of social media sites. Overall, the book was successful in sending it’s message across. It’s a successful coming of age and coming out story.
P.S. After reading this book, you’ll definitely crave for some Oreos. Have some ready.
P.P.S. The book’s movie adaptation will come out soon! Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to show it on the big screen. The movie will star Nick Robinson as Simon. Nick co-starred with Chloe Moretz in another book-to-movie adaptation The 5th Wave which was shown last year. I can’t wait!
5 stars out of 5.
Author: Becky Albertalli
Release Year: April 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
No. of Pages: 320 pages
About the Author:
Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. These days, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons, and writes very nerdy contemporary young adult fiction.