Date finished: Friday 12th January 2018
First time reading?: Yes
From Goodreads: “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 was drawn to this book because I saw a trailer for the movie adaptation which is apparently coming to cinemas later this year (surprise surprise what isn’t being made into a movie these days) and I felt it had a little bit of a “Perks” or John Green vibe to it so thought I’d make it my first read of 2018.
“Simon” was a good little book, primarily about coming out to your friends and family, but also about friendship and being yourself, whoever that may be. The e-mails between Simon and Blue at the beginning and ending of each chapter were a nice addition to the development of the story, and despite all the hints being dropped that Simon knows who Blue is I was still clueless right up until the reveal.
There were some interesting ideas explored throughout the book; for example Simon’s feeling that it was easier to come out to a friend who hadn’t known him as long before coming out to any one else was an angle I’d never really thought about before, but his reasons behind doing so made complete sense. The narrative also took place within a school which (to me) seemed like a good school, where the teachers are completely intolerable of bullying in any form, and those kids who did bully Simon were reprimanded appropriately. While this seems a little bit idealistic to me, it would be nice to think that our world is leaning more towards this than the sad world I went to school where the kids were awful and teachers were useless and unsupportive. Or maybe I just went to a shitty school.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed the book, and felt the narrative was natural and well written, overall the book felt as though it was missing something. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is it was missing; maybe I was just expecting another John Green or Holly Bourne, but in my opinion it was missing something that would make it stand out. That said this is my no means a bad book, and I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation.
My rating: 7/10