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.
This book is easily one of my favorite books of the year. I won’t do spoilers in here because it is so easy to do so and I am trying my best not to.
I said this on my twitter, “Simon is my heart and Blue is my soul.” That is how much I adore them. Simon has this confidence within himself. He is not afraid of the fact that he is gay but is more afraid of losing people that he loves and cares for once they find out. He got talking to Blue that he met over at his high school’s Tumblr page. They knew that each other’s gay but does not know who is who at the actual high school.
That helps Simon to actually fall in love with Blue over what he has to say, rather than his looks which young teenagers are guilty of. He would be confused on who is it based on the hints that Blue gave him, he thought it was this person or that person but it was not. It turns out it was someone that he was not expecting it to be. We get to see the emails between Blue and Simon, or Jacques — his pen name. It shows how their friendship has grown and they are witty.
One thing I love the most about this book is that it is real and it shows how Simon has grown over time. He learns from his mistakes and others learned as well. I love the fact you get to see Simon’s parents and his sisters because that is a rare thing in a YA book. I would like to see that more often. The family is not even close to being perfect in a perfect neighborhood. The parents try so hard to be “cool” and the siblings are close, yes but they are trying to distance themselves and be more tuned to friends which are perfectly normal among teenagers.
Simon’s friends and classmates are complex and realistic. They are not a carbon copy of each other. They have their own personalities, have their own dramas, and they provide different purposes in each other’s lives. In this book, there are topics that came up: race, sex, sexuality, and more as well as explores identity, truth, and judgement. I love how Simon and Blue wonder why straight has to be the default? Simon also thought white should not be the default as well.
“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.” – Simon
With most books that I have read, the ending seems rushed. I wish authors would just let it flow and let it end where it should end with ease, rather ending it abruptly. This book has swear words and I love it. With that said, this is a strong debut novel by Becky Albertalli and I am excited about her next book, The Upside of Unrequited, coming out in April 2017.
There was news that this book has been picked up for a movie! Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl) are set to direct with Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen producing and Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (This Is Us) co-wrote the script.
I gave this 4.5 stars out of 5.