Young Delight Audiobook Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Posted June 16, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Audio Book, Reviews, Young Delight / 32 Comments

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Young Delight Audiobook Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda
Narrated by Michael Crouch

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Series: Creekwood #1
Genres: YA M/M Contemporary Romance
Published by Harper Audio
Released on April 7, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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The Delight

I’m late to the party, but I still enjoyed this endearing coming of age and coming out story.  It walks along at a gentle pace of a young guy’s suburban family, friends, and school life are the setting of this story full of warmhearted humor and subtle complexity.

Review

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda tells the story of a boy who figures out he’s gay, but is content to let things play out at their own pace.  He has an on-line friend who attends his school that shares this secret world.  The pair of them are as close as to guys can be without knowing their identities.  All that is threatened when a lonely, nerdy, and awkward kid accidentally sees an email exchange between Simon and ‘Blue’.  The guy decides to blackmail Simon into helping him get the girl- one of Simon’s friends.

Swirling around this situation are Simon’s involved and enthusiastically supportive parents, his two sisters- one away at college and one in high school behind him, his circle of average-kid fun friends and Simon’s participation in the school play with his blackmailer and the girl the guy wants.

Simon vs tHSA is one of those books that nails it.  I had no doubt when I was listening that the voice of the story was a sixteen year old boy and the activities and spin on things were from the teen perspective.  But, the author did this in such a way that there was a universal quality to it that touches the heart of readers/listeners of all ages.  I’m not a sixteen year old boy trying to figure out life and love, but I could still relate to Simon and his friends.  And, that is the trick.   This is true of Simon’s brooding, vulnerable friend Leah who was jealous of his friendship and her crush only wanting her as a friend, to the kid blackmailing Simon.  I could hate their actions and still root for them to learn and get a clue.

The romance is stretched out over a series of several months through the first half of the school year.  Simon goes from friendship to yearning to desperately needing Blue to come out with him into the open and let Simon see him.  I really appreciated that the author allowed for a long denouement after the reveal since the reader waits a long time for the off-line romance to begin.  I’m not sure, but I think the reader is meant to know who it is all along.  Or, at least, I didn’t find it tough to figure out who Blue was.  Maybe it was who I wanted it to be.

Michael Crouch is a narrator that I really enjoy so I was thrilled when I realized he was narrating this book.  He does teen voices and this style of story so well.  I could easily get lost in the writing and story with that bit of extra I got from his narration work paired with the book.

All in all, this was one that had me feeling and thinking about lots of things while having a feel good mood throughout.  Those who enjoy YA Contemporary Romance about a gay guy figuring it all out or those wanting an LGBTQA gateway book, here you go.

Challenges Met

Audio #55
Books N Tunes #28  Elliott Smith Waltz #2
Library Love #17

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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LolaLexxie @ (un)Conventional BookwormsCrystal @ Lost in StorylandLindy@ A Bookish EscapeEthan Recent comment authors
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Melanie Simmons
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I haven’t read this book yet, but it is on my TBR list.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I’d been on the library wait list for so long, but then my turn finally came. 🙂 It was a heartwarming, story. I can see what all the fuss is about. 😉

Melliane
Guest

I did read it not a long time ago and I have a really good time with it too

Sophia Rose
Guest

It’s definitely a sweetie. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

I hadn’t heard about this one. I don’t think it’s my kind of book but I’m glad you liked it.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, it’s been out a few years so the hype has died down even after the movie. I’ve been on the library wait list for a while since this was one I wanted in audio with Michael Crouch narrating. It was a sweet one with some depth. 🙂

Lindsi
Guest

I STILL need to read this one! After the initial hype and the movie… I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I wanted to wait until things died down a bit before giving it a go. I’m happy to hear the audiobook was a success! I’ll likely go that route when I read it.

Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I get what you’re saying. I tend to avoid the initial frenzy, too. To be honest, I wouldn’t say its a book I would rave about and shove into everyone’s hands, but it is a fab story that I enjoyed thoroughly and wouldn’t even mind a re-read later. Michael Crouch really worked for me on audio so I’m glad I went that route. I don’t know if I’ll ever watch the movie since some of the changes were stuff I really liked. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

I haven’t read this one, and I’ve seen a lot of love for it. I do enjoy a good coming of age story/romance, too. 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

It’s one of those feel-good type. I think you’d enjoy it, Rachel.

Lorna
Guest
Lorna

I was late to the party as well and caught a sale on the paperback for less than the eBook several months ago. I loved it. A few days later it came on HBO for the first time so I did both in one week. I liked the book better-of course-but was still able to enjoy the movie. Glad you enjoyed it too!

Sophia Rose
Guest

That’s funny about the movie coming on right when you got the book. I’ still not sure I want to bother with the movie, but maybe when I want a cute teen one.

Genesis @ Whispering Chapters
Guest

I need to read this one! I also want to watch the movie. I’ve heard great reviews for both. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I love when a book makes you feel good 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh yes, its one that leaves you smiling and feeling cozy. I’ll definitely want to do a re-read. Hope you get the chance on this one b/c I think you’ll like.

Naomi Hop
Guest

My 14yo daughter has this book and she loved it. I am glad that you thought it was a good read too. great review Sophia Rose!

Sophia Rose
Guest

That’s neat that she got to read it from a teen point of view. Its a sweet heart of a book. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

This is one on my list. I am glad to see you enjoyed the audio since I thought about that format.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yazzz, the audio is the way to go when you get the chance, Kimberly. 🙂

vvb
Guest

Glad you liked this one. I’m late to the party on this one too. I think I’ll do the audio version now when I get around to it.

Sophia Rose
Guest

So many good books. It’s hard to be on them from the beginning. This was worth the wait and definitely worth snagging it in audio.

Karen
Guest

This was super cute and I bet great on audio. Loved the movie too.

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
Guest

Definitely was a good move to get it on audio. 🙂 I’m still on the fence about watching the movie since I heard they cut out some parts in the book that I really liked. I’ll probably watch it eventually. 🙂

Ethan
Guest

I listened to this one on audio too and loved it! As a gay man, I was really pleased with what I felt was an authentic representation of the nerves and excitement that come with accepting your sexuality. Great review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

You confirm what I thought felt really authentic, too, Ethan, about how his journey to figuring it out worked out.
Thanks!

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
Guest

Have you seen the movie Sophia? I loved it! This sounds like a great book, and I’m glad that the narrator dod such a good job. Lovely Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Not yet, Lindy. 🙂 Glad you loved it. I’m still working up whether I want to b/c I learned there are some differences between the two that are things I liked in the book.
I probably will, though.

The audio was a great choice. He did great with it. 🙂

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland
Guest

I’ve heard great things about this book. I love your thoughtful review. I might have to check out the audiobook since I enjoy Michael Crouch’s narrations. Bumping this up the TBR!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes!!! Go audio, Crystal. Worth it. 🙂

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms
Guest

I love Simon and his friends and family! I actually used this book as required reading with two of my classes this year, and it worked really well 🙂
Great review, Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Its a great book for discussion and for that age group. I can definitely see why it was a success with your class, Lexxie. 🙂

Lola
Guest

This sounds like a realistic and well written young adult gay romance book. I’ll have to check if the site I use for my audiobooks has this one. That’s also good to know that there is quite some part with the off-line romance as well. The whole set-up with them only knowing each other online at first sounds interesting. Great review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, I thought so, too.
Hopefully, your site will have this one. Its so charming.
I agree. Having the extra chapters after they met in real life made this all the better for me. It also made it authentic to show what a real life relationship would involve with school, friends, and family.