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 with, 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.
©2015 Becky Albertalli (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
Simon's personality is so distinctly drawn--every nook and cranny, every nuance--and the narrator is so perfectly cast, that you walk away from the experience feeling like you've gotten to know someone REAL. You haven't simply been told a story; you've gotten inside Simon's head and shared his experiences.
Along with Simon, Albertalli has crafted a team of three-dimensional characters rife with intriguing qualities. You may think you've mastered them (as Simon does), but as the story develops many of them turn around and surprise you. In both subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
A thoroughly engaging listen for Adults and Teens alike.
I went back and forth between smiling at what was happening and occasionally getting upset. Sometimes Simon just does the complete wrong thing and I just wanted to say nooooooooooo. But that’s part of what being a teenager is about. As this plays out over a few months, including the Christmas holidays, Albertalli gives us such full, dynamic characters that you feel the weight of the events on Simon, which is also helped by the use of first person/present tense. In the last forty five minutes, I smiled and cried because of the perfect ending that played out before my ears.
I suspect I'll listen to it again, and I might pick up the physical book as well because this story deserves to be savored and enjoyed
the book was So good. I really appreciate the writing and the way the narrator made each character and situation seem like It could happen to you and the Book was Super relatable and I loved it overall. it was really good. I wanted more by the end.
Love love love love love love love this book!
I love the story the main character and the narrator!
Thank you Becky Albertalli for this amazing inspiring insightful beautiful masterpiece!
Coming from the default straight white guy...I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! The characters are so real, it is fantastically written, and the story is perfect in every way.
Simon is a 16 year old closeted gay kid, who has been sending emails to another closeted kid in his high school who he knows only as "Blue." Unfortunately for Simon, one classmate gets a hold of the emails and begins to blackmail him with them.
What I appreciated about the novel - despite beginning with blackmails and secret identities - ultimately did not feel too sensational. Instead, it actually felt quite real, with well-developed characters (a lot of people have a sense of interiority even if it isn't fully explored in the book itself). The characters are DEFINITELY the strongest part of this book...as they really are fantastic and fascinating. Overall it's an interesting - and definitely for me - relatable take on the stakes of coming out when they do not involve family disownment and such. A lot of the conflict on that end comes from the inherent change in how others see you, no matter their intentions, and the desire for a stable identity...fake as it may be. It's a refreshing version of a coming out tale, but one I think that a lot of people can relate to. And, even if the stakes are lower than disownment, there are definitely still important stakes (and I think it's a testament to the author that she can pull off real stakes when already ditching the ones most people assume)
Crouch also is a fantastic reader. He gives Simon so much emotion and brings him to life in a way that allowed this book to hit me even more in the feels. I've already given it a second listen and will be listening much more, I'm sure.
This story about Simon and his struggle was amazingly poignant and touching. I felt all the moments of pain and confusion as Simon experienced it and all the moments he felt loved. Because when you're 17 and trying to figure it out, everyone can be a little bit horrible and wonderful at the same time. Such a great listen!!
I love this wonderful book, and all the unique, real characters, especially Simon. I laughed and cried as Simon navigated his world trying to be in love in a straight world, and for a high school kid even today, it is not easy. Michael Crouch's performance as Simon is perfect. He was so into the soul of Simon, that at one point in the book, I had to stop walking in my neighborhood I was crying so hard about a heartbreaking moment for Simon and his contrite friend. I am the mother of a gay son, and this important book helped me understand him on a deeper level. Thank you, Becky Abertalli and Michael Crouch!
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