***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
THIS BOOK IS LIFE.
THIS BOOK IS LOVE.
This book needs to be read.
I wish I could leave it at that but I guess if I am here, I might as well write something because I am sure you are all curious as to what prompted such a passionate response. For starters, I just want to say this book is the cutest thing ever and you would be missing out if you didn’t read it.
I don't know what else to say though. What? I need to do? FINE. I'll attempt figuring this out but don't you blame me if this reads like it's a bunch of nonsensical fangirling!
Let us start with the awesomeness that is Simon. Simon is a beautiful creature and if he was real I would hunt him down and force him to be my friend just because.Literally like where do I begin with this guy? He is so real and relatable and if you think you cannot relate to his problems because you aren’t gay, that is where you are absolutely wrong. There is so much more to this book than just a young teen’s struggle with his identity. It’s about friendship, it’s about family, and it’s about learning to not be afraid of who you are.
Simon isn’t so much struggling with his sexual identity as he is with this idea of coming out. He is worried that his parents will make a big deal, he doesn’t know how to come out to his friends and he most definitely doesn’t want to come out to the school because he lives in Georgia and he knows he will get shit for being gay.
The only person who seems to understand him is Blue. Blue is someone who goes to his school but Simon doesn’t know who he is because their conversations are anonymous, they don’t know who the other person is yet they know each other in ways no one else does. Their emails are so incredibly fun to read and made me smile like a doofus.
But going back to Simon, the best thing about him is that he isn’t perfect. He makes mistakes but what makes him so lovable is thathe is willing to apologize and give his friends, family and potential lovers (;)) the respect they deserve. It may take him a while to realize that what he did was wrong but when he does, he goes out of his way to make up for his mistakes.
There are amazing family dynamics within this storyand it was so much fun watching to see this family interact. They are so bizarre and fun and you can tell that underneath all the weird jokes, they all care for each other. I especially liked that one moment between the parents and Simon where Simon’s dad admitted to being insensitive and apologized for it. I love how much they all respect each other. It's such a healthy relationship!
One of my problems with this book was Nick. Nick is one of the best friends in their trio and the problem with Nick is that he was kind of an asshole. I think one of the reasons for this was because we never saw him apologize for his mistakes and because we also never saw him and Simon have any special moments. That made it a lot harder to see them as friends because we had nothing to go on except for the fact that we were told they were best friends.
The romance in this novel is beautifully developed and while I easily guessed at Blue’s identity, it was just so much fun watching Simon figure it out. You could see how he tried to figure out who Blue was and along the way learned about what is important in his life.
This book starts with Simon being blackmailed and things go somewhere with that. Somewhere intense. Somewhere like bullying. It was incredibly painful to watch all these kids being such douche canoes but we also saw people stand up for Simon. People like teachers and that warmed my heart because that isjust so positive! Of course, in a lot of similar real life scenarios, things might not go the same way but that doesn't mean they cannot!
When I finished this book, I got off my bed and went outside to the common area to have a little awkward jumping 'I am so very excited' session (no one was awake so it wasn't all that awkward). I was on such a high from the book and I walked around trying to calm myself down a little but just ended up smiling like a doofus.
This book is so clever and heartfelt and one I think everyone needs to read.
Go follow my orders, young padawans!