Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: April 7, 2015
Genres: YA, contemporary, LGBTQ, romance
My Rating: 5 Stars
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 Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. 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.
“It’s so cute I literally died,” apparently isn’t a good enough review, but those are my overall feelings about this book. It’s so cute I literally died.
As you can tell, I listened to the audiobook version on my drives to work, and it was just so wonderful. It’s a love story for the modern age, two people falling in love through the computer screen. I mean, there’s a bunch of other stuff going on, but at the end, it’s a love story between Simon and Blue, and it’s amazing.
There is so much going on in this book, and it’s framed in a such a beautiful way. One of the things I love about YA lit is that when we’re teenagers, everything is happening and everything has the same amount of meaning. Simon has this thing going on with Blue, the play, his friendship, the blackmail, and discovering who he is and deciding how/if he wants to tell people. There’s a balance, and even though everything is jumbled and a mess, there is a beauty and simplicity about it.
It’s a book where even the bad guy, Martin, you kind of like. I mean, I wanted to hate Martin, but the more we learn about him and see who Martin is the harder it was to hate him. In the end, Simon and Martin’s motives are the same– they are both boys with crushes who aren’t sure how to go about dealing with them. They are very different, Martin goes about dealing with his probably the worst way a person can, but in the end, I can understand Martin’s motives.
As I reader I couldn’t help but fall in love with Simon and his friends, his sister, his parents. This was one of the YA books that get parents right. Simon’s parents are hover-y and kind of annoying, but they read like actual human beings. The book even discusses the lack of parent thing that plagues many YA books by discussing how teenagers don’t ask about their friend’s parents. I thought that was a fun part.
The narration, done by Micheal Crouch was lovely. The voices he does for the characters are just different enough to tell who’s talking. You can feel the emotion of the story with his voice, and I don’t think I can say enough about it.
I’m probably one of the last people who love YA to read this book, but I cannot wait to read more of Becky Abertalli’s books. If you haven’t read Simon, pick it up before the movie comes out. It’s so worth it!
Until next time Internet,