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.
Firstly, this book made me laugh. Out loud. That almost never happens, but it did more than once in under fifty pages. Secondly, “NO!” actually burst from me when I turned over the page and the acknowledgements greeted me. I didn’t even realise I was close to the end because I wasn’t paying attention to anything other than the words in front of me.
Needless to say, I kinda loved it a little bit.
Normally I go into what I loved about the book vs. what I didn’t love so much or what could have been better but how can I do that when I wouldn’t change a thing?
Yeah, that sounds like a cop-out, but when I put the book down I just had a feeling that every little thing was exactly how it was meant to be.
Simon was a teenage boy. Exactly. He’s written so well and so awkward and sweet and he’s the kind of MC that doesn’t leave your thoughts. And every one of the secondary characters were so amazingly written that I can remember all of their names. There’s seriously so many of them but they all had their own bright, shiny personalities. Special mentions to Abby and Leah. I love those girls. Even though I wanted to shake them a fair few times the teen-me recognised them as kindred spirits.
Annnnd Blue. Sigh. I picked who he was from the first time I remember him being mentioned. Which of course made me fall in love with this character so when it neared the end I would have been so disappointed if I was wrong. But I wasn’t and I could have (did) hugged the book.
The story is exactly what you would expect from the blurb. Albertalli doesn’t try to do anything complicated and crazy, she just focuses on the characters and telling Simon’s story. I think sometimes authors fall in the trap of trying to stuff in too much when sometimes, simplicity is what’s called for.
This book does focus on ‘coming out’ but it explores the theme of coming out as a person, rather than the sole focus on being sexual orientation.
I don’t think it’s possible to recommend this book any more than I am. Simon’s voice is witty, Blue is swoon-worthy, and through the whole book I really connected with Simon’s emotions. I got all nervous and anxious when he did, and for the whole last quarter of the book I couldn’t shake the huge dopey grin that set up camp on my face.
Normally I take a couple days to write a review but I couldn’t wait for this one. I just want to post it as quickly as possible because this book has that kind of affect on you.
I love me a happy ending.
(^That totally feels redundant, by the way)