Friday, May 8, 2015

Author Becky Albertalli at Paideia Next Week

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  is a wonderful YA coming-of-age debut novel by Atlanta author Becky Albertalli.  The first word that comes to mind as a description is "solid." Sure, on the face of it "solid" is not a particularly exciting adjective, but it's so right for this great book.  There's nothing fluffy, nothing weak, nothing unnecessary in the writing or plot. The characters are appealing and well-drawn, the crises so realistically believable, and the ending is satisfying. 

In a nutshell, Simon Spier is a funny, well-adjusted 16-year-old high school student somewhere on the northern side of Atlanta.  He has a core of close friends, does well in school, and knows he likes guys but isn't in torment about it.  In fact, Simon is thrilled that he's started to exchange friendly, flirty emails with another guy at school -- but he doesn't know "Blue's" identity, and Blue doesn't know his.  Then oops -- Simon forgets to close out his email on a library computer. The class clown/jerk Martin takes a peek, uses the secret to blackmail Simon into setting him up with best friend Abby (from Peachtree City),  and the plots starts rolling.

If you're a fan of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, or Glee, or Eleanor and Park, or anything by David Levithan, you will love Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.  I guarantee you will leave the book feeling like you've had a good meal -- lots of colors on the plate, a variety of flavors and nutrients,  not too heavy, not too sweet, but nourished, satisfied, and feeling like you've done a very good thing for yourself.  Enjoy!