Author: Becky Albertalli Published: April 7th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
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.
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Honestly, this is one of the cutest, most endearing books I’ve read all year. It’s honest and sweet and genuinely entertaining. At no point did I think ‘I want to put this book down’.
Albertalli has created such a genuine, believable, and relatable character in Simon Spier that all I want to do is bring him home and hang out with him, and get to know him better. And that’s what reading this book felt like, almost as though I was hanging out with Simon and getting to know him better. This book literally had me laughing, crying and squealing with delight, and I am not ashamed to admit that.
Simon is super sweet, very cute and completely smitten with a boy he emails, but has no idea who his true identity is. In fact, Simon is trying to figure out exactly who he is himself, and how to express that true identity to those that matter to him. He has to find that right moment to perform his huge Coming Out. So far, Simon has only spoken about his being gay to one other person, and that’s Blue – his secret email pen-pal whom he doesn’t really know, but desperately wants to.
Of course, everything gets flipped on its head when things go wrong and someone screws up. And Simon is all of a sudden thrown headfirst into the whole universe knowing his secret, but he still needs to protect Blue, even though he desperately wants to know his identity himself.
The thing I think Albertalli does brilliantly, is seamlessly integrate contemporary means of communication: Facebook, email, Tumblr, text; and make it flow so naturally. The voices in the book, Simon predominately, as well as Blue, and even some of the supporting characters are so true to life, simple, messy and just fun to read. Overall, I can honestly recommend this book to anyone, of any age that loves a good book, with a fluffy ending, and none of the cheesy, fake feeling clichés. This book will now sit on my favourites shelf, proudly.
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