Friday, May 22, 2015

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaWhen Kristan told me that YA Diversity Book Club had picked SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA for this month, I was excited to have someone to gush with me over the story. You see, Simon inflates my heart. This book made me feel like I was in love. Love in all its awkwardness, agony and impossibility.

So when Kristan asked me if I wanted to post about Simon, I was like...let me think...YES! This is not because I need to add to the hype that surrounds the book. This is certainly something that fatigues our group. i.e. If something's getting loads of attention, it tends to influence our reading, and not normally in a good way.

I wanted to post about Simon because I felt him.

There are things in this book that aren't perfect. *shrugs her shoulders* You'll most likely guess Blue's identity (which is delicious). You'll probably dislike certain characters and then understand them a bit later on (just like real life). You might even forget all the minor characters that pale in comparison to Simon (his name's in the title, yo). And somehow that will all be okay because for the length of a book, you will BE Simon. And you'll nod along to his thoughts because you KNOW him. (Spoiler: I'm not gay). The world around him is quietened when Blue is in it. Things dim and brighten and crash and burn and rise just like a good story. But what everything comes down to is Simon. Clever, beautiful, funny Simon:

"...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 introduce myself to the universe all over again."
"'It's a Dementor robe over my clothes...'
'What's a Dementor?'
I mean, I can't even. 'Nora, you are no longer my sister.'"
"I have to meet him. I don't think I can keep this up. I don't care if it ruins everything. I'm this close to making out with my laptop screen. Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue."
"As a side note, don't you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi, or whatever...
Love, Jacques"
"Awkwardness should be a requirement. I guess this is sort of our version of the Homosexual Agenda?
Love, Blue.
P.S. By the way, guess what I'm eating at this very moment."
"The Homosexual Agenda? I don't know. I think it's more like the Homo Sapiens Agenda. That's really the point, right?
Love, Jacques.
P.S. You have me curious. A banana? Hot dog? Cucumber? :-)"

I think (hope) that you'll love him as much as I do.

* * * * *

For more on SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, be sure to check out all of our great features:

Our group discussion at the Teen Lit Rocks
Q&A with Becky Albertalli at Gone Pecan
"Simon Says: The Audiobook Agenda" at the Reading Date

Next month we're reading UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee. Please feel free to join us by reading along! You can also visit the full archive of YADBC posts and #YADiversityBookClub tweets.


The Reading Date said...

Your enthusiasm for SIMON is infectious, Sarah! I love all your pull quotes- the one that really resonated with me when I was reading is the one that "everyone should have to come out - and it should be a big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi or whatever." Here here! Thanks for your awesome post!

Rebecca said...

I love that you loved Simon so much! Reading over the above quotes just reminds me how great this book is. Not that I need reminding though! Interested to see what you think of UaPS next month. If I decide to read along, how does that work? Is there a date you start reading?

Hani said...

I have heard so much about it!! Good to know the hype is worth it

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comments, everybodeeee! :))

Rebecca, I'm not sure when they start. Probably asap, I would think as the discussions happen toward the end of the month. If you check out the links at the end of the post there's more info. Kristan is the main contributor from our group to DBC. Get reading and then check back in with us!

Kristan said...

Great question! No particular date that we start reading, but we do usually pick a night to discuss together before posting. So far our book club chats have just been between the 4 of us, but maybe we could find a way to open it up, as you and a couple other people have mentioned wanting to join in. I'll talk to the group and get back to you! In the meantime, if you tweet anything about any of our monthly picks, just use the hashtag #YADiversityBookClub and we'll all see it! :)

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



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