Published: March 19 2015
Number of pages: 303
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: contemporary, romance, LGBT
Rating: 5/5 owl hoots
Simon is a sixteen-year-old but not quite open yet gay student for the school’s musical drama. But when his email falls into the wrong hands, Simon finds himself blackmailed into being Martin’s wingman or else his sexual identity is exposed to the whole school. Worse is that the school will learn about Blue, the pen name of the boy Simon has been emailing with. Now Simon’s junior year has gotten very complicated, and he has to figure out how to come out to his friends and family and push out of his comfort zone on finding happiness to the most confusing and adorable guy Simon has ever met.
After reading the positive reviews from Goodreads I wanted to read this as I don’t normally read LGBT stories, and one of my goals is to read more diverse books this year. This is a very sweet contemporary story touching on the subject of LBGT in younger adults, and I’m really glad that I read it because there are so many things to love about this book!
Simon Spier is an adorable, grounded teenager with good grammar, and I felt an immediate connection to his character after chapter one. All I wanted to do was to support him as he finds a way to come out to his friends and family, meanwhile figuring out a way out to deal with Martin as he threatens to expose his sexual identity. Reading this story was almost like an emotional rollercoaster ride as it made me feel angry, sad, sympathetic, and happy that things worked out with Simon in the end. But when things got really intense at school for Simon, I felt so emotional to what was going on that if this happened in real life, all I wanted to do was comfort Simon and tell him that things were going to be alright. It was hard not to be emotionally attached to this story and the characters, especially Simon whose life has gotten all complicated because of a stupid blackmail.
The story was like reading Simon’s journal as he records his everyday life at school and at home, and he tells it really well as I could easily picture his day in his own eyes. I also like how Becky added snippets of Simon and Blue’s emails that I thought were pretty cute. There were clues that led to what Blue could be and while reading about Simon’s friends and classmates, I had some hint as to which this Blue character was. It wasn’t too obvious as to who he was in the beginning and sometimes my instincts pointed to the wrong direction, but in the end, I realized Blue’s identity and was surprised that it was him all along. In the beginning when they just started emailing each other, I could tell that Simon and Blue make a really sweet couple. They are both supportive as they struggle to come out to their families together, comfort each other when times are tough, exchange secrets, and share a love for Oreos (which I thought was really cute!)
The story really tugs at your heartstrings and I thought the secret behind Blue’s identity added mystery to the plot. In fact that was all I could think about after Simon introduced him. This is a really good contemporary LGBT and I would recommend it to anyone who loves cute romance and Oreos.