Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I purchased a copy of this book from my local bookstore. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.
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.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
“…I’ve been basically picturing this moment for ten hours, and now that it’s here , I don’t have a clue what I’m supposed to say. Probably something awesome and witty and not school-related.” – Simon
“It’s strange, because in reality, I’m not the leading guy. Maybe I’m the best friend.”- Simon-
“This was supposed to be–this is mine. I’m supposed to decide when and where and who knows and how I want to say it.” -Simon-
Simon Spier is a hundred percent sure that he is gay, but he is also a hundred percent sure that he is not ready to share this information with anyone else. He is so entranced with the fact that someone else at his school is also a “closeted gay” that he forgets to log out of his email at the school library. Simon has had a secret, email, relationship with a student attending the same school as him. However, he has no idea who this student is, and from the looks of the pseudonym Simon is using, he’s not ready to reveal his true identity either. Martin, however, is prepared to use any information he has against Simon to advance his love life. This story follows the life of Simon Speir, a teen male in high school trying to figure out a way to get through his junior year without any hiccups. Martin is a straight teen male who merely wants to get closer to Alice, Simon’s best friend, by any means necessary. Will Martin win the heart of Alice or will his attempt at blackmail fail? Will Simon ever figure out who the other closeted gay in his school is? Will Simon ever feel comfortable to tell anyone about his sexuality before Martin does?
Overall, I thought this book had a lot of potentials. I am a fan of Becky Albetalli and her other works such as “The Upside of Unrequited,” but I thought this book fell a little bit short for me. I wanted more from the author in this tell-all LGBTQ novel. I guessed who the secretly closeted gay was at the beginning of the book. However, I felt inclined to finish the entire story, and I am glad that I did. The book started off a bit slow for me, but I did love the email interactions between Simon and Blue. I enjoyed reading the responses from both parties. I also liked the writing style in this book. The author did a great job portraying the drama and using adequate descriptive terms for all the supporting characters. I was able to channel my inner imagination to create what I assumed Simon’s best friends looked like. There was an adequate amount of drama, romance, tears, and friendship turmoil. I wanted more information about Leah, but overall the author did a great job with this book. I especially loved the developed drama between Martin and Simon and I legitimately almost cried during the epic scene towards the end. I would say that I should not have watched the movie trailer before reading the book. I had preconceived notions of what would happen and how the book began. I recommend this book to any teen looking for a fun, heart-wrenching, LGBTQ romance novel that focuses on the right side of coming out.
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