“Straight people should have to come out too. The more awkward it is, the better.”
Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is — and what he’s looking for. But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated. Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal…
I am so happy this book exist. Now, I’m really not that old —I’m turning 26 in a few days— but I believe there weren’t really any young adult books with LGBTQ+ characters around when I was a teenager. Not that many, at least.
I’ll admit, I had to get into it a little. The blackmail story line seemed a tad cliché and also not really up my street. Fortunately, it was handled well and resolved about halfway through the book. Plus, the book is written in a very captivating way, and drew me in quite quickly. One of the things I loved about it is that we jump straight into the action in this book. Often books take several chapters to get to what is in the blurb, but here it’s all on the first page.
Simon and his friends are flawed and lovable. They sometimes make life so hard for themselves, but while I think that they don’t always handle things very well, I can also completely understand why they act or feel that way, which I think is very good writing. Albertalli portrays very accurately how complicated friendships can be, and how people often hurt each other because they’re not communicating clearly.
I like that there are jock football players in this book, but also nerdy ones and musical ones. I enjoyed how pissed the drama teacher gets when two guys act horribly homophobic, and how there are assholes in the school and very supportive people. How Taylor is very annoying but she’s also the first to stand up for Simon. Which doesn’t make her any less annoying at other times. In this sense, Simon’s school feels very ‘life-like’ and the characters in it very rounded.
Moreover, I love me some good parenting in YA, and Simon’s parents seem very nice. I really appreciated how Simon’s dad is not too proud to apologise to him when he knows that he was in the wrong, and how both his parents really listen to his feedback and try to understand him. When I was a teenager, my relationship with my parents was especially important to me, but in most of the books I read parents were very absent or simply awful. It’s good to see some representation of healthy parent-child relationships.
These teenagers are so damn cute! This book made me squeal several times as I read it and had me so hooked that I tore through it in two days. It made me feel very warm and fuzzy. Would recommend!